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Full text of "Ferns of Kentucky : with sixty full-page etchings and six wood-cuts, drawn by the author, illustrating structure, fertilization, classification, genera, and species"

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PI. XEvni. 

Bristle Fern. 


Sixty full-page Etchings and Six Wood Cuts, 
Drawn by the Author, 





Printed by John P. Morton & Co., W. Main Street. 

Copyrighted by John Williamson: 1878. 



J The want of a popular hand-book on our native ferns 
induced the author to issue the present work. The great 
expense of getting up the illustrations no doubt prevented 
publishers from such an undertaking. The beautiful mon- 
ograph of the Ferns of North America, by Professor D. C. 
Eaton, of Yale College, now in course of publication, will, 
when it is completed, form a most valuable contribution to 
Botanical Science. The only aim of the present volume, 
however, is merely to be a guide to the amateur fern- 
gatherer, a book that can be carried in the pocket, and 
referred to at any time, whether in the woods or in the 
study. Pages are left blank so as to enable the student 
to make notes regarding the habitat and locality of ferns 
and flowering plants. 

The works of Riddell, Short, Clapp, and others who 
have gone over probably the same ground, are scattered 
throughout the various periodicals published at that time. 
They are very difficult to get at, and entirely out of the 
reach of the amateur botanist. These early workers made 
no attempt to illustrate, sometimes mentioning the county 
where the specimens were found, seldom the exact locality. 



All their localities have been credited as far as could be 
ascertained with accuracy. In McMurtrie's History of 
Louisville, he gives Scolopendrium officinarum (Swartz), 
as found near Louisville, Ky. This is certainly doubtful. 

The present work is not so full in localities as it ought 
to be, and it is the earnest desire of the author that local 
collectors should communicate with him regarding this 
matter, noting carefully the time and the place of finding 
any plant described in tliese jjages — whether on the higher 
ranges; whether on the de(li\ities, or in the valleys, in the 
damp, rich woods, or along the banks of streams; whether 
on trees,' or overhanging rocks; whether the rocks are 
sandstone, limestone, or of igneous formation. Notes 
can not be too careful or minute. 

This is merely a beginning of what can be accomplished 
with the aid of local collectors. We hope in a little time 
to be able to determine the locality and range of every 
species and variety indigenous to the State. 

I now take this op])ortunity to thank ni)' liotanical friends 
for the kind assistance they ha\e given me in this work — 
Mr. J. ('. Martindale, of Camden, New Jersey, Mr. John 
H. Redfield, of Philadelphia, Prof. D. C. Eaton, of Vale 
College, Prof. Coulter, of Hanover College, Indiana, I'rof. 
Hussey, of Purdue University, Lafayette, Ind., Mr. Chas. 
E. Faxon, and Mr. G. E. Davenport, of Boston. I am 
especially indebted to Mr. Davenport for his valuable hints 
regarding the nomenclature and for criticisms on the illus- 


I am also specially indebted to my friend Dr. E. S. 
Crosier, of this city, who has taken a great interest in the 
Avork since its beginning, for valuable assistance in the 
preparation of the text. Most of the descriptions have 
been carefully revised by him, a courtesy I greatly ap- 
preciate. j_ \v_ 

Louisville, Kv., May i6, 1878. 

The Illustrations are etched on metal plates, afterward trans- 
ferred to lithographic stone, thus enabling the work to be published 
at a much cheaper price than if the copies were printed direct from 
the plates. They were printed by the Louisville Lithographic Com- 
pany, who are to be thanked for the interest they have taken in the 
matter, in getting clear and sharp impressions, in every respect as 
well done as if they had been printed direct. 


Preface, 3 

Introduction, ......... 7 

Structure, . . . . . . . . . .11 

Cultivation, ......... 15 

Fertilization, .......... 18 

Collecting and Drying . . 21 

Classification, ......... 24 

Key to the Genera, 30 

Genera and Species, ....•••• 33 

Appendix, 15^ 

Index 152 




To the student of Nature the order of Filices, or Ferns, 
is exceedingly interesting. On account of their grace- 
ful forms and curious organs of reproduction, they occupy 
a unique place among the families of the vegetable king- 
dom. Their wide distribution renders them general favor- 
ites. It is only within a few years, however, that the study 
of ferns has become popular; but, to the botanist they 
have always been objects of rare interest. It is difficult 
to imagine why they should be considered more attractive 
than flowering plants, unless it be on account of the great 
profusion of their bright and delicately-tinted green fronds, 
the gracefulness of their foliage, and their happy adapta- 
tion, when dried, to the purposes of winter decoration. 

Who would think now of going to the country to spend a 
few days, or even one day, without first inquiring whether 
ferns are to be found in the locality? If the answer is in 
the affirmative, the party is soon formed. All the appli- 
ances for collecting and preserving the specimens are pro- 
cured; and, on arriving at the journey's end, what a bustle 
there is to get down to the ravine, under the dripping 
rocks, where grow the delicate and almost transparent 
Trichomanes and feathery Lady Fern! 



f^rns are numerous everywhere in Kentucky. It is a 
well-known foct that every wild flower has its special habi- 
tat. Some are found on the highest knobs, some in the 
valleys, and others along the banks of streams. Calcare- 
ous cliffs are preferred by some species, while others grow 
more luxuriantly where sandstone is the prevaihng forma- 
tion. Ferns have a similar distribution. There are a few', 
however, which are widely diffused, and seem to be con- 
tent with any situation. The Maiden-hair Fern [Adiantiim 
pedatum) is one of the commonest as well as the loveliest 
of the fern tribe. What could be more charming, on a 
summer morning, than the sight of a patch of the Maiden- 
hair Fern with its stems of polished jet, and its delicate 
foliage sparkling with dew-drops? 

The geographical position of Kentucky, as well as its 
peculiar topography, traversed by sub-mountainous chains, 
serves to make it a Jiplendid field for the fern -collector. 
About forty species are described as indigenous to the 
State. It is possible that if a careful search were made a 
few others could be added to the list. The region along 
the Rockcastle River and its tributaries furnishes a great 
number of species, esjjecially the rarer forms i)eculiar to 
certain geological formations. The Asplenium Bradleyi 
and Trichomanes radicans are both exceedingly rare, and 
are indigenous to Kentucky. They are not reported as 
found elsewhere in the United States, except in Alabama 
and Tennessee; but I have no doubt that they will be dis- 
covered in other localities. The vast region embracing 
the Appalachian chain of mountains, with its numerous 
spurs and deeply-shaded defiles, is peculiarly the home of 
ferns preferring shade and moisture. We are happy to be 
able to include among the Kentucky ferns the beautiful 
Climbing Fern {LvgoJiiim palmatum), fovmd in Laurel and 


Rockcastle counties, which is only occasionally met with 
so far westward and southward.* 

Ferns are ([uite generally distributed over the surface of 
the globe. In the tropics they form a very characteristic 
feature of the vegetation, lliey are found in Greenland, 
in Iceland, at the North Cape, and throughout all tem- 
perate regions; but it is in the tropics that they attain 
their maximum size. Here, only, they assume a tree-like 
form. The horticultural department of the United States 
Centennial Exposition afforded American botanists a fine 
opportunity for the study of this curious, palm-like plant. 
Speaking of the Tree Fern, Darwin says: "In some of the 
dampest ravines Tree Ferns flourish in an extraordinary 
manner; I saw one which must have been twenty feet high 
to the base of the fronds, and was in girth exactly six feet. 
The fronds, forming the most elegant parasols, produced a 
gloomy shade, like that of the first hour of night." (Voy- 
age of a Naturalist, Am. Ed., page 144.) In the early ages 
of the earth's history the Tree Fern must have been widely 
distributed, as its remains form a striking feature of some 

••=■ Mr. J. H. Redfield, of Philadelphia, has made a vahiable con- 
tribution to the "Geographical Distribution of the Ferns of North 
America," in which the ferns inhabiting this country are arranged in 
six geographical divisions : I. Cosmopolitan : Widely distributed 
over the globe, in both the temperate and tropical regions. II. 
KoREAL: Inhabiting (with a few exceptions) the northern portion 
of the United States, British America, and Greenland. III. Appa- 
lachian : Extending throughout the mountain and hilly regions 
of the states east of the Mississippi. IV. Pacific: Extending along 
the western border of the continent, from Alaska to California, and 
appearing in the Rocky Mountain region. V. New Mexico: Inhab- 
iting the Central Mountain regions of New Mexico and Colorado. 
VI. Tropical: Inhabiting the border of the Gulf of Mexico, most 
of the species extending into the West Indies and Tropical America. 
(See Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club, vol. vi, page l.) 


geological formations, especially the coal measures. Here, 
on our mantel-shelf, is a beautiful specimen of fossil fern, 
with all the characters distinctly marked. It is just as 
perfect as the living plant. What a history this specimen 
reveals to us, carrying us back through the dim, i)rimeval 
ages to the very dawn of life upon the globe ! * 

From a strictly utilitarian point of view, very little use 
has been made of ferns, the root of the Male Fern alone 
furnishing the materia medica with a drug of some value. 
The true lover of ferns is not troubled with this lack of 
utility. The woods and glens and mountains are replete 
with objects of interest, whether seen with the eye of a 
botanist or of an amateur. He finds treasure-trove in every 
patch of ferns. E\ery plant,' whether dried for household 
decoration, or simply named and classified, will recall the 
quiet loveliness of nature whenever the mind is vexed 
with worldly care. The window, with its store of living 
plants, the ])arlor wall, ornamented with vines, the fern- 
album, filled with carefully prepared specimens, all serve 
to tell the story of their discovery. The Climbing Fern is 
there, reminding him of the long tramp among the hills; 
the little Bladder Fern, recalling the visit to the woodland 
spring, where it was gathered from the crevices of the 
drij)ping rocks, and where, from the overhanging ledge, 
he attempted to trace the trailing root of the Polyi)ody, 
or watched the Lady Fern unfolding its scroll of deli- 
cate tissues. 

■•■■Prof. Leo Lesqiieieux has recently described and figured twenly 
fossil ferns belonging to the Tertiary Flora of the United States. 
(See Ilayden's Geological Survey of the Territories, vol, vii. 1878.) 



What is a Fern ? The vegetable kingdom is divided 
into two great classes, Ph^enogamia (flowering plants) and 
Cryptogamia (flowerless plants). The ferns belong to the 
latter class. The Royal P'ern i^Osiiiunda rcgalis) is often 
called the Flowering Fern; but this is a misnomer, as no 
ferns produce true flowers. The fruit, or rather fertiliz- 
ing organs of the fern, are peculiarly situated, and have a 
very .showy appearance, especially when fully developed; 
AV'hence the name of Flowering Fern. 

A fern can be easily distinguished from all other plants 
by the texture of the foliage, by the peculiar character of 
the veins, and more especially by the position of the fertil- 
izing organs. On the under side of the leaf are situated a 
number of dark brown spots, some on the edge of the leaf, 
some at the center, and others scattered irregularly over 
the surface. These are the organs of fructification, and 
are common to all ferns. There are a few exceptions, 
however, in the manner of the arrangement of the fruit- 
spots. The Sensitive Fern {Onoc/ca scusilu'/is) furnishes a 
very good exami)le of this exceptional method. ToAvard 
the end of summer it sends up from the root a spike re- 
sembling that of a flowering plant in fruit. (Plate XL.) 
This spike of fruit -like bodies is technically called the 
fertile frond, while the other, which is green and leaf-like, 
is termed the sterile frond. The fertile frond, or leaf, of 
most ferns is more contracted than the sterile, and the 
morphological law governing the conversion of leafy tissue 


into fruit is here well exhibited. (See Plates L, LI, and 

Another characteristic feature of true ferns is presented 
in the unfolding of the leaf. In its youngest state it is 
cm-led up in a circinate fashion; and, as it comes up slowly 
through the leaf- mold, it gradually unfolds its scroll-like 
form until it reaches its last delicate leaflet, and soon 
afterward assumes an ap{>earance the most graceful and 
beautiful in the vegetable kingdom. The Adder's Tongue 
Fern (Plate LIX), and the Moonwort Fern (Plate LVIl), 
are exceptions to this rule; but, to say the least, they hold 
a doubtful place among the true ferns. 

The frond, or leaf of a fern, differs from that of flower- 
ing plants in this — the latter performs only a foliage office, 
having no connection with the fruit-bearing organs, while 
the former bears the organs of fructification, exercising, at 
the same time, the functions of the leaf. However, the 
terms are almost synonymous, and in our discussion of the 
subject we may use the term leaf as Avell as frond. Prof. 
Sachs, one of the greatest living authorities on vegetable 
physiology, seldom uses the term frond. 

The arrangement of the veins of the leaf, as has already 
been mentioned, is very different from that of ordinary 
plants. Having their origin at the mid-rib of the leaf or 
leaflet, they proceed by successive bifurcations toward the 
margin. By decolorizing a ])lant in a solution of chloride 
of soda, this peculiar structure of the leaf, as well as the 
arrangement of the fruit-spots, will readily appear. 

Various terms are used in describing ferns, which it will 
be necessary to explain. A clear comprehension of these 
will enable the student to understand the written descrip- 
tions at once, and to determine the exact relations of any 
fern without the aid of an illustration. With this end in 


view I have prepared a plate, with several diagrams, giving 
most of the terms used in description. See Plate I. 

The Root (Plate I, figure i), represents an under- 
ground stem or rhizoma of the common bracken [Ftcris 
aquilind), after Sachs, showing the remnants of the old 
and decayed, as well as the young and living leaves. It 
is a very characteristic root-stock. An examination of the 
plates will enable the reader to recognize the different 
kinds of roots, a general description of which is given 
by Moore : " The proper roots of ferns are fibrous, and 
they proceed from the under side of the stem, which 
assumes a creeping mode of growth ; but when the stem is 
erect they are produced toward its lower end on all sides 
indifferently, and proceed from among the bases of the de- 
cayed leaves. The stem of a fern forms either an upright 
stalk, called a caudex, which in our species seldom elevates 
itself above the surface of the ground, but in certain exotic 
ferns reaches from thirty to fifty feet or more in height, 
and gives a tree-like character to the species; or it extends 
horizontally either on or beneath the surface of the soil, 
and forms what is called a rhizome or creeping stem."-'- 

The Leaf. (Plate IV.) The lower portion of the leaf 
is termed the stipe, and is somewhat analogous to the leaf- 
stalk of flowering plants. The upi)er part is more properly 
termed the frond, and is the fruit-bearing portion. The stipe 
may be simply a continuation of the root-stock (Plate I, fig- 
ure i), or it may be jointed (articulated), as shown in Poly- 
podium (Plate IV). This is an important character in the 
classification of ferns. Leaves are either simple or com- 
pound. They are simple when undivided; compound when 
cut or parted into segments or lobes. Nearly all of the 
ferns have compound leaves. 

* Popular History of British Ferns, page 12. 



Figure i — Root of Pteris aquilina (Sachs). 

" 2 — Simple leaf, with wavy outline. 

" 3 — Pinnatifid leaf. 

" 4 — Pinnate leaf. 

" 5 — Bi-pinnate leaf. 

" 6 — Tri-pinnate leaf. 

" 7 — Somewhat wedge-shaped leaf, showing the 
Figure 8 — Serrate and ciliate leaf. 

" 9 — Winged leaf. 

" 10 — Scaly and circinate leaf, unfolding. 


f; I 


C U L T I V A T I O N. 

In whatever light we may view the study of the fern 
tribe, we are apt to be somewhat enthusiastic. It is by no 
means necessary to spend much money in the cultivation 
of ferns. A strong square or oblong case will answer the 
purpose very well. It may be elaborate, and in keeping 
with the other furniture in the room. This question, how- 
ever, may be left entirely to the taste of the owner. A 
case well filled with ferns, in a healthy condition, is an 
endless source of enjoyment. You are sure to visit it 
every morning to watch the new fronds unfolding their 
downy heads, and to mark their growth day by day. In 
the far corner, where you least expected it, you observe 
a new one peeping above the soil. This is followed by a 
regular succession until you discover, when it is probably 
too late, that your case is too small. A case is almost 
indispensable to any one desirous of making ferns, in all 
their phases, the subject of careful study. The spores, 
when ripe, are scattered all around, and a few of them 
are sure to germinate. 

The etching of the young fern (Plate II, figure 6) was 
drawn from a specimen taken from our own fern-case. 
These delicate, flat bodies are attached to the glass of the 
sides or to the root-stocks of other ferns. A fern-case is 
also very useful for preserving the plants when newly col- 
lected, if it be desirable to examine them carefully before 
placing them within the drying papers. 

Fern-cases are usually called Wardian cases in honor 


of Mr. N. B. Ward, of London, who was the first to culti- 
vate ferns in small, close cases, suitable for a small room 
or i)arlor. The size of the case should not be less than 
twelve by twenty-four inches. The box for holding the soil 
should be four and a half or five inches deep, lined with 
zinc or asphaltum; the height of the glass, twelve inches, 
and the roof, nine inches. In a case of these dimensions 
a fern with fronds twenty - one inches in length may 
be grown. The same proportions may be observed in 
making larger cases, except that very little increase in the 
depth of the box for holding the soil will be reciuired. 
One of double the size, or eighteen by thirty-six inches, 
will make a handsome ornament for the room. Doors may 
be made for it, thus enabling you to examine the plants as 
often as desirable, removing, from time to time, the brown 
and withered fronds, and destroying the slugs and parasites 
which infest the plants. Some fern -growers recommend 
that the case be kept air-tight. The plants will doubtless 
grow well enough, but you will be denied the pleasure 
of examining them closely, and the glass will always be 
obscured with moisture. 

The character of the soil is of very great imi)ortance. 
Healthy plants require an appropriate soil. In the War- 
dian case first lay on the bottom, to the depth of one inch, 
any drainage material, such as broken pieces of crockery, 
or small bits of brick about the size of a marble; then 
fill the wooden box with soil. Some prefer a mixture of 
fibrous peat and sand, while others choose a light loam. 
Let the soil be entirely free from worms and slugs. In a 
large case there is a fine opportunity of showing good taste 
in the manner of planting the ferns. A lady friend, who 
takes great interest in her fern -case, has it beautifully 
arranged every winter. She manages to have the prettiest 


miniature forest imaginable — little moss-covered cliffs and 
dells, with fragments of decayed stumps overgrown with 
trailing lycopods and partridge-berries. There is no rule 
for arranging or growing ferns, any more than in the case 
of flowering-plants. In the case they do not require to be 
watered often, since very little evaporation is going on, just 
as in a damp and shaded wood. Some ferns are better 
suited for this sort of culture than others. In describing 
the species special attention will be called to this subject. 

Nearly all our native ferns can be successfully cultivated 
in the open air in a city garden, provided it is kept moist 
and well shaded. A northern aspect is better than any 
other; but, without being well sheltered, the fronds will be 
apt to get broken and tangled, and become less graceful 
than in their native woods. A gentleman in the city of 
Louisville has been very successful in the cultivation of 
ferns in the open air. He has two circular mounds com- 
posed chiefly of leaf- mold from the woods. With the 
exception of some of the rock -ferns, he has growing in 
these mounds nearly all the ferns indigenous to the State. 
From early spring till late autumn these mounds present a 
scene of the most luxuriant vegetation. The graceful 
Lady Fern waves its feathery fronds, entangled with the 
veil -like form of the Maiden-hair; the Shield Ferns, the 
Spleenworts, the Osmundas, and the Bladder Ferns all grow 
most luxuriantly. The Sensitive Fern seems to be in its 
special i)aradise, with abundance of moisture and good, 
rich soil. Along with the ferns, making the spot still more 
beautiful, are a great many of our common wild flowers — 
the hepatica, the spring beauty, the celandine poppy, the 
the shooting-star, the stellaris, the mertensia, and a dozen 
others, rivaling in sweetness and beauty the more preten- 
tious products of the greenhouses. 



The subject of the fertiUzation of ferns is as interesting 
as it is difficult of comprehension. In a book of this kind, 
intended for popular use, it will be impossible to go into all 
the details of the subject. I will, therefore, only give an 
outline of the process of fertilization, as it is at present un- 
derstood by the best authorities. In his "Text -book of 
Botany," Prof. Sachs has given a very elaborate account 
of the fertilization of ferns, with illustrations, a few of 
which I have copied. 

The first question to be discussed relates to the form and 
nature of the fertilizing organs. As I have already said, 
they are generally situated upon the back of the leaf or 
frond. With the aid of a pocket lens any one can see their 
exact position, whether on the margin of the leaf or at its 
center; whether they form round, horse shoe -like, or elon- 
gated patches. All these distinctions are very important in 
classification; and, when their significance is once under- 
stood, the student will be able to classify. the individual 
members of any genus, native or exotic. It is, however, 
impossible to determine the form of the organs of fertil- 
ization without the aid of a microscope ; but it need not be 
of very high power. 

The term sonts (a heap) is used in describing a single 
patch; the plural, so?-i, in describing a number of these 
patches. When the fertile frond is observed under the 
microscope, the sorus is found to be composed of a num- 
ber of beautiful objects, ornamented with something like a 


spiral spring. These are termed the sporangia, or spore- 
cases. When the sporange is ripe this elastic spiral spring 
breaks, scattering the contents (spores) in a thousand direc- 
tions, as the pollen in flowering plants. A great many ferns 
have a delicate membranous covering for the little patches; 
this is the indusium or involucre. The form of the indu- 
sium is a characteristic feature in the classification of ferns. 
Sometimes it is linear, sometimes round, and sometimes 
fringed. In describing the several species this will be more 
particularly mentioned. Some ferns, as the common Poly- 
pody and Beech Ferns, are without any indusium, but these 
are exceptional cases. 

When the spore is set free it alights on some con- 
venient place, and germination, or rather budding, then 
commences. Some spores will germinate in three or four 
days, while others will require several weeks. The germi- 
nation of a fern-spore is very different from that of the seed 
of a flowering plant or of an ordinary tree. With proper 
heat and moisture a young oak will be developed from an 
acorn planted in the soil, but the true fern requires two 
generations for its development. The minute, almost 
invisible spore bursts, its contents bud and form new cells; 
these cells continue to enlarge, and eventually become a 
flattish, heart-shaped body, technically called the prothallus. 
The prothallus may be compared to a flower, since it con- 
tains the fertilizing organs, antheridia, the male, and arche- 
gonia, the female. The development of the spore, in its 
various stages, is represented in Plate II. 

A number of small roots are formed beneath the prothal- 
lus. These roots are mere hair-like bodies, each consisting 
of a single tube, and quite transparent. After the archego- 
nium is fertilized a bud is formed, and from this bud the 
tender and delicate frond of the fern is unfolded. 



Figure i — Sporangium opening (Hooker and Bauer). 
" 2 — Spores. 
" 3 — Young prothallus, growing from the spore (<?) 

(from nature ». 
" 4 — Antheridia with antherozoids escaping (Sachs). 
" 5 — Archegonia (Saclis). 
" 6 — Develo])ed prothalhis with young fern (from 

The figures arc all highly magnified. 







It will scarcely be necessary to say much about col- 
lecting and drying ferns, as nearly every reader of this 
book has had at least some experience in this line. It 
is very difficult to dry wild -flowers well, especially those 
which are thick and succulent; but ferns are so thin and 
delicate that any ordinary book will, to some extent, 
answer the purpose. Boards, however, are better — two 
boards about eighteen inches long, ten inches wide, and 
half an inch thick, with cross pieces at the ends, to pre- 
vent warping; plenty of soft, porous paper (carpet paper), 
and two leather straps. Add to these a long tin box, for 
preserving the specimens, and the outfit is complete. See 
that the specimens you select are perfect, by examining the 
backs of the fronds and observing whether the fruit-patches 
are well developed — in a word, whether they are character- 
istic examples of the plants you wish to preserve. The 
advanced student will probably select a number of fronds, 
showing different stages in the life of the plant; but the 
beginner should obtain the specimen apparently most char- 
acteristic, including the root, if not too large. If it is 
wanted for transplanting, it should be removed carefully, 
with plenty of its native soil. 

The proper way to make a herbarium is this : select a 
specimen, characteristic both of the species and genus, 
well formed in every respect, with every leaflet perfect; 
if the root is to be taken, remove the soil carefully, without 
destroying the delicate rootlets; next place the plant be- 


tween the papers, and, if too large for the sheets, fold it 
gracefully, so as to show the under side of the frond, thus 
serving the double purpose of getting a large plant within 
the papers, and of showing the fruit -dots, which charac- 
terize the genus. (Plate XLVI.) 

On reaching home, after an excursion, unfasten the 
boards at once, change the paper, and straighten out all 
the irregularly folded fronds, while they are yet pliant. 
Then place the plants under heavy pressure by means of 
a screw-press, or weights; repeat the process of changing 
the papers and examining the jilants for several days, until 
they are thoroughly dried. Flowering-plants are much more 
difficult to manage. The quicker ferns are dried the bet- 
ter. After being thoroughly dried, they are to be named, 
and placed permanently upon a large sheet of white 
paper, sixteen and a half by eleven and a half inches. 
The plant, placed at the center, is either fastened down 
with fine white glue, or allowed to lie loosely on the paper, 
to be made secure afterward with narrow strips of paper 
across the stem in several places, glued at the ends. This 
must be done carefully, so as not to allow the strips to mar 
the beauty of the plant. We have seen a fine collection 
of California ferns, mounted in this way by a lady, which 
not only displayed good taste, but produced a very beauti- 
ful effect. In the right-hand corner a label is generally 
fixed, giving the name of the plant, when and where col- 
lected, and the name of the collector. (Plate IV.) The 
sheet containing the specimen is next to be placed within 
the genus cover. Thus, Asplenium ebeneum, Asplenium 
Trichomanes, Asplenium Ruta-muraria, etc., representing 
separate species, are to be placed in the same genus 


A fern -herbarium will be a source of great pleasure. 
Every plant has a history of its own, recalling the scenes 
where it was collected, and all the attending circumstances. 
Every overhanging ledge, every wild mountain side, every 
deep ravine, has its representative. 



The first systematic arrangement of ferns may be attrib- 
uted to Linnaeus, the great Swedish naturahst, wlio laid the 
groundwork of our present system, based on the position 
and grouping of the sporangia. The form and arrange- 
ment of the spore-cases, the character of the covering or 
indusium, and the venation of the fronds serve to deter- 
mine the proper methods of classiiication now in use. 

The earher systems of classification, though in many re- 
spects imperfect, were generally characterized by a degree 
of accuracy which was very remarkable when we consider 
the limited facilities at hand at that time for making careful 
microscopic investigations into the minute structure of the 
fertilizing organs. Of the thirty genera established by 
Swartz, at the beginning of the century, all but two are 
still retained in the botanical works of the present day. 
The writings of Presl, of the University of Prague, of Sir 
J. E. Smith, of England, of Fee, of Strasburg, and of 
Bernhardi have done much to render the task of classifying 
ferns less difficult for those who have studied the subject in 
modern times. Dr. Mettenius, of Lei])sic, and Sir W. J. 
Hooker, of Kew, have given us the latest reliable works 
on the subject of the classification of ferns in general, and 
their systematic arrangement into genera and species. 

In his excellent "Text-Book of Botany," Prof Sachs, of 
the University of Wursburg, makes the following remarks 
on this subject: "The systematic classification of ferns, as 
generally given in the hand-books, is based artificially on 


the form and nature of the mature sporangia for the fam- 
iHes, and of the sorus for the genera. It appears certain 
that the Hymenophyllaceae contains the lowest forms most 
nearly aUied to the Muscine^e. The Hymenophyllaceas 
probably forms the starting point for two or more series 
of families." 

Sachs establishes seven families for all the known ferns, 
the Adder's Tongue and Moonworts i^Ophioglossaced) being 
excluded from a place among the true ferns and assigned 
to a separate class. Prof Daniel C. Eaton, of Yale, the best 
authority on ferns in this country, adopts a classification 
which is essentially the same as that of Sachs.* 

The following are the seven families of Sachs, with such 
representative ferns as are indigenous to this country: 

1. Hymenophyllace^, {Trichomanes radkans). 

2. Gleicheniace^, \No American fern). 

3. ScHiz^ACE/E, {Lygodwm palmatum). 

4. OsMUNDACE^, (Osmunda regalis). 

5. Marattiace.e, {No American fern). 

6. Cyatheace^, [No American fern). 

7. Polypodiace^, {Polypodium vulgare). 

If the OPHIOGLOSSACE.E is included, the Ophioglossum 
vidgatum will represent the family in America, leaving the 
second, fifth, and sixth without any representative in this 

The classification which I have adopted in this book is 
that of Prof. D. C. Eaton, as given in the last edition of 
Gray's Manual, by whom the ferns of the United States are 
arranged in four sub-orders, as follows : 



*See article "Ferns" in Johnson's Cyclopedia, vol. ii, p. 71. 




The general characteristics of these sub-orders, with the 
addition of Hymenophyllaceaa, which, at the time Prof. 
Eaton wrote, was supposed to be unrepresented in this 
country, can be better shown by figures representing the 
different forms of the sporangia, upon which these divisions 
are based : 

PoLYPODiACE^. — Sporangia with a vertical 
(/. e. longitudinal), incomplete, many -jointed 
ring, and therefore splitting transversely. The 
sori either cover the surfaces and veins of both 
sides of the leaf, or are confined to one side 
alone; are either distributed along the whole 
course of the veins, or are terminal on a vein 
or at a fork ; are either naked or covered by 
an indusium. (Fig. i.) 

Fig. I. 

HvMENOPHYLLACE.E. — Sporangia with an oblique or 
transverse complete ring, opening by a longitudinal slit; 
they are formed on a prolongation of the fertile veins, pro- 
jecting beyond the margin, and are surrounded by an urn- 

sha])ed indusium. 'I'he 
fertile end of the veins of 
the leaf i)rojecting beyond 
its margin, or the columel- 
la, elongates by intercallary 
growth, and the newly- 
formed sporangia are, in a 
corresponding manner, ])roduced in a basipetal succession. 
They are arranged on a spiral line on the columella. The 
sessile sporangia are biconvex, and are attached to the col- 
umella by one of their convex surfaces (Sachs). (Fig. 2.) 
See also Plate XLVII. 

Fig. 2. 



Fig. 3. 

ScHiz.f:ACE.E. — Sporangia ovoid or pear-shaped, sessile 
or shortly stalked, having a complete, trans- 
verse, articulated ring at the apex, which is 
cap-like and circular, and it therefore splits 
longitudinally. In our typical genus Lygo- 
dium the two pinnae at the base of each 
primary branch of the leaf have a flatly 
expanded lamina definite in its growth. 
The fertile segments are spicate, and each 
bears on its under side two rows of sporan- 
gia, each of which is placed in a pocket- 
shaped outgrowth of the tissue of the leaf 
(Sachs). (Fig. 3.) See also Plate XLIX. 

Osmund AC E^. — Sporangia globose, shortly stalked, 
opening into two valves by a longi- 
tudinal slit. They are unsymetric- 
ally rounded, and, instead of a ring, 
are furnished on one side with a pe- 
culiarly developed group of cells 
beneath the apex (Sachs). In our 
genus, Osmunda, from the distribu- 
tion of the sori upon the surface of 
the leaf, instead of upon the veins, 
the fertile leaves become contracted 
and no longer resemble the sterile 
fronds. (Fig. 4.) See also Plate LI. 

Ophioglossace.e. — Sporangia spiked, 
destitute of a ring, naked, coriaceous and 
opaque, not reticulated, opening by a 
transverse slit into two valves, discharg- 
ing copious powdery spores. According 
to Sachs the sporangia of Ophioglossa- Fig. 5. 

ceae are so essentially different from those of other ferns 

Fig. 4. 


that a separate classification is necessary. (Fig. 5.) See 
Plate LVIX. 

The SUB-ORDER PoLYPODiACE.E embraces what are gen- 
erally termed the true ferns, and is by far the largest group, 
not only of ferns indigenous to the United States, but of 
all existing species. The arrangement of the fruit-dots is 
so varied in the genera of this family that Prof. Eaton has 
separated it into five tribes: 


2. PlERIDEiE. 5. DaVALLIE.(E. 


The following table, with references to the plates, will 
enable the student to understand more clearly the relation- 
ship of the genera to the tribes to which they belong : 

Tribe i. Polypodies. Fructification on the back of 
the frond; no indusium; stipes articulated to the root-stock. 

PoLYPODiuM, Plates III and IV. 

Tribe 2. Pterides. Fructification marginal or inter- 
marginal ; provided with a general indusium; stipes not 
articulated; veins free in our species. 

Adiantum, Plate VI. 

Pteris, Plate VII. 

Cheilanthes, Plate IX. 

Pellsa, ........ Plate XII. 


Tribe 3. Asplenie^*;. Fructification elongated, cov- 
ered by a special indusium which is attached by one side 
to the fertile vein; stipes not articulated. 

Woodward] A. 



Camptosorus, Plate XXIV. 


Tribe 4. Aspidie.e. Fructification round, provided 
with a special indusium, rarely naked ; stipes not articu- 

Phegopteris, Plate XXVI. 

AspiDiUM, Plate XXIX. 

Cystopteris, Plate XXXVII. 


Onoclea, Plate XL. 

WooDSiA, Plate XLII. 

Tribe 5. Davallie^e. Fructification at the ends of the 
veins, with an indusium attached at the base and opening 
toward the margin of the segment. 

DicKsoNiA, Plate XLV. 

The remaining sub-orders are represented in the United 
States by only a few genera, and have no tribal divisions. 

Sub-order Hymenophpllace^: 

Trichomanes, Plate XLVII. 

Sub-order Schiz^ace^: 


Lygodium, Plate XLIX. 

Sub-order Osmundace^: 

OsMUNDA, Plate LI. 

Sub-order Ophioglossace^ : 

Botrychium, Plate LV. 

Ophioglossum, Plate LVIX. 

For a more detailed account of the classification and 
description of the ferns of North America, I would refer 
the reader to the excellent article, "Filices," by Prof. 
Eaton, in the latest edition of Gray's Manual, and to his 
splendid monograph on the "Ferns of North America," 
now in course of publication. 


A. Sporangia dorsal or marginal, surrounded by an elastic ring, 
reticulated and pellucid, opening transversely and irregularly. 


* Sort without an indusiutn and not covered with the reflexed margin of the 

frond, PoLYPODIEyE. 

Pol;('|MMlinill. Sori roundish, in one or more rows on each side of the midrib ; 
' stipes articulated with the root-stock. (Page 33, Plate III.) 

■•■ '■■ Sori marginal or intermarginal, with an indtisitim, or covered by the reflex 

margin of the frond, Pteride/E. 

Adiantlilll. Sori oblong or roundish, marginal ; stipes black and polished. 

(Page 39, Plate VI.) 
Ptoris. Sori continuous at the margin, connecting the tips of the free veins; 

indusiuni formed by the refle.\ed margin; stipes light colored. (Page 41, 

Plate VII.) 

C'lieilnnthos. Sori minute at the ends of the veins; indusium continuous 
or interrupted, formed by the refle.xed margin ; stipes near the base brown 
or black, shining. (Page 45, Plate IX.) 

I'PHwtt. Sori on the upper part of the veins; indusium membranaceous, con- 
tinuous, rarely wanting; stipes generally dark colored. (Page 51, Plate 

AlloMOrtls. Sori roundish or elongated, extending far down the free veins, 
covered at first with the refle.\ed margin; stipes light colored. 

* * * Sori oblong or linear, the indusium attached by one side to the lateral veins, 

opening at the other, Asplenie.«. 

>Voo<lwar4lin. Sori forming a chain-like row on each side of the midrib ; 
veins reticulated. 

A$4I»loililiili. Sori elongated, arising from lateral veins, opening toward the 

midrib; veins free. (Page 53, Plate XIII.) 
SooIopeiKlrilliil. Sori linear, confluent in pairs; indusiuni double, the two 

portions upuning toward each other; veins free. 
C'ailiptUNOrils. Sori irregularly scattered, partly on veins parallel and partly 

on veins oblique to the midrib, outer often in pairs; veins reticulated. 

(Page 75, Plate XXIV.) 

=:■ ':■ i' * Sori round or roundish, placed on the back of the lateral veins, rarely 
at the apex : mostly provided with an indusium AsriDiE.i:. 

I'llOKOpteriN. Sori round, rather small, with an obsolete or no indusium; 
stipes not articulated with the root-stock; veins free. (Page 70, Plate 

.VMpidiliin. Sori roundish ; indusium attached above the sori, orbicular or 

reniform; veins free. (Page 85, Plate XXIX.) 
C'yNtoptoris. Sori roundish ; indusium attached beluw and partly under the 

sori, convex, acuminate ; veins free. (Page loi, Plate XXXVII.) 



KIriltllioptoris. Sori round; indiisium obscure, somewhat semicircular; 

fertile and sterile fronds unlike, fertile fronds pinnate ; veins free. 
OllOt'lca. Sori round, soon confluent; indusium thin and hood-like; fertile 

and sterile fronds unlike, fertile frond twice pinnate; veins reticulated. 

(Page 107, Plate XL.) 
WooflKia. Sori roundish; indusium attached under the sori, more or less 

cut at the margin; veins free. (Page in, plate XLII.) 

::= :;: :;: ;;-. ^: Sori Toundtsh oT transvcrsely elongated, at the ends 0/ the veins, with 
an indiisium attached at the base, attd opening toward the margin. 


Uicksoilia. Sori very small, marginal, with a somewhat two-valved, cup- 
shaped indusium; veins free. (Page 117, Plate XLV.) 

B. Sporangia on a prolongation of the fertile vein, projecting 
beyond the margin of the frond, and surrounded by a cup-shaped 
indusium Hymenophyllace^. 

Triehoiiiaiies. Sori marginal, within a cup-shaped indusium ; the columella 
e.xserted and bristle-like; veins forked. (Page 121, Plate XLVII.) 

C. Sporangia ovoid or pear-shaped, sessile or shortly stalked, 
with a complete circular ring forming an apical, cap-like zone, open- 
ing by a longitudinal slit ScHiz^ACE.-E. 

Scbizsea. Sporangia naked, fixed in a double row on the fertile segments; 

sterile fronds, rigid, simple, or branched. 
Iiyg'tMlilim. Sporangia with a .-special scale-like indusium for each sporange, 

borne in a double row on the narrow spicate fertile segments ; fronds 

leafy, climbing. (Page 127, Plate XLIX.) 

D. Sporangia naked, globose, clustered on the margin of a 
transformed frond, with an obscure ring, reticulated and pellucid, 
opening by two regular valves Osmundace.e. 

Osiniinda. Sporangia pedicillate in branching spikes upon the margins of 
the very narrow segments; veins free. (Page 131, Plate LI.) 

E. Sporangia sessile, coriaceous, opaque, on the margin of a 
contracted frond, without reticulations or a ring, opening by a trans- 
verse slit into two valves; fronds not rolled up in the bud. 


Botr.vohiuni. Sporangia arranged on one side of a pinnate rachis; veins 

free, forked. (Page 139, Plate LV.) 
OphiojS^lossilill. Sporangia cohering on a i-celled 2-ranked simple spike ; 

veins reticulated. (Page 147, Plate LVIX.) 



PI. 111. 



Plate III. 

POLYPODIUM. Linnaeus. 

Gen. Char. — Fruit-dots naked, round, on the back of the frond 
at the ends of the veinlets, arranged in one or two rows on each side 
of the mid-rib ; stipes articulated with the creeping, scaly root-stock. 

This is a very extensive genus, and is widely distributed 
over the entire globe. It is the typical genus of the tribe 
Polypodieae, and it is easily recognized by its having the 
fruit-dots naked, or without any covering (indusium). These 
are arranged on the back of the frond, and, in our species, 
are very regular and near the margin of the pinnules. 
Examined with a pocket lens before the disruption of the 
elastic ring, they have the appearance of globular masses of 
little berries. The veins are also very characteristic in this 
genus, branching from the mid-rib, twice or thrice forked, 
and always ending in little club-shaped points. Held 
between the observer and the light, especially after being 
decolorized, this peculiarity will be readily distinguished. 
Another characteristic of the genus is the articulation of 
the stipe or stalk with the rOot-stock. On examining an 
old plant, with a pretty thick rhizome, it will be found to 
be covered with rough knots, the old stalks, at their point 
of attachment, having left a series of scars, just as the leaf- 
stalks of some trees when they fall in autumn. 

4 (33) 


The name Polypody means many-footed, and it has been 
explained to apply to the branching of their creeping stems, 
which have a fancied resemblance to Polypes. 

Figure i shows two pinnules magnified about three 
diameters; figures 2, 3, and 4, sporangia and spores 
greatly magnified. 



'f ?»c«ifc 





. >% 

"to •» ^ fc=- 

jS^r^ -t" — 

.-t-s:" >^'^--' -^''-^ 



Common Poiypody. 

MEP.B .r. V\'. 
P.VULoARE, . L. 

Overhanging Sandstone Hocks, 



Plate IV. 

Common Polypody. 

The Common Polyi)ody is a typical species, having the 
characteristic creeping root-stock of the genus. It is gener- 
ally found growing among the mosses on overhanging rocks, 
although it is rarely confined to any special habitat. In 
England and Scotland it often grows on the trunks of trees, 
and sometimes even upon the thatched roofs of cottages. 
Some specimens in my own collection were found on the 
banks of Loch Lomond, Scotland, growing on a dry stone 
wall, the thick rhizomes imbedded in the moss below. This 
fern has a wide geographical range, and in the United States 
belongs to the Appalachian division of Mr. Redfield's classi- 
fication. In Kentucky it grows to perfection in Rockcastle 
and Laurel counties; also in Madison County (Short). I 
visited the former county in the middle of March, and was 
surprised to find this fern in such abundance, especially at 
this season. Every sheltered rock, whether on the hill- 
sides or along the banks of streams, was literally covered. 
Thickly imbedded in a carpet of moss, it can be detached 
from the overhanging rocks in great masses. The average 
size of the full-grown plant is from eight to ten inches. 
The root-stock is densely covered with chaffy scales. The 
frond is oblong, somewhat lanceolate or alternate pinnatifid, 
the leafy portion commencing a little below the upper half 
of the frond; the divisions linear oblong, with a wavy 
outline, sometimes slightly serrated. The whole plant is 
smooth, and always has a fresh, dark evergreen appearance. 
In sheltered localities it remains green all winter. The 
articulation of the stem is shown in the illustration. 



^ ■ 

1^ C^^ 


^ *■"'" ■*■'' 







Scaly Polypody. 


Plate V. 

The Scaly Polypody. 

This fern is essentially tropical in its distribution, growing 
in great abundance throughout the Southern States, but 
rarely extends so far north as Kentucky, and is occasion- 
ally found in Indiana and Illinois. It usually grows upon 
trees, but sometimes on overhanging rocks. Southward it 
is luxuriant on live-oaks, and, in this latitude, is found 
oftenest on the oak and sycamore. The illustration is from 
a specimen found near Rock Springs, Oldham County, 
growing upon a sycamore tree, extending along the ti'unk 
for the space of thirty feet, commencing about ten feet 
from the base. It grew mainly on the southwest side of 
the tree, and appeared to have a good foothold, having 
apparently existed there for years. The roots, of course, 
are in no way connected with the tree, as is the case with 
the mistletoe, being merely imbedded in the moss and 
earthy matter deposited upon the bark. It has been ob- 
tained at the mouth of Elk Lick, Kentucky River (Short); 
near Lebanon, Marion County (Knott); at Livingston, 
Rockcastle County; on Rough Creek, Grayson County; 
near Rockcastle Springs, Laurel County (Miss Rule); at 
Rock Springs, Oldham County; near Cumberland Gap, 
Bell County (Jordan) ; and in Hardin and Edmonson coun- 
ties, in Kentucky, and upon oak-trees and cliffs near the 
Ohio River, in Perry County, Indiana (Smith). 

Prof. Hussey says : " I found this fern in a very dry situ- 
ation on the upper surface of the low cliff which borders the 
depression in which the mouth of Mammoth Cave opens. 
Standing with the back to the cave, near its mouth, the rock 


on which this fern is found is to the right on the low cliff 
fifty or sixty feet above and a hundred yards toward Green 
River. The rock is not in sight in the summer on account 
of the dense foliage. Another locality is about twenty miles 
to the west, on a branch of Nolin Creek, near the old Iron 
Furnace, where it covers a large rock. In this locality it 
has large fronds, and they are very full of fruit-dots." 

A curious feature about this fern is its great tenacity to 
life, resembling, in this respect, the Sclaginella cofivohiia, a 
plant allied to the lycopods. When dry the fronds are 
contracted and curled up, apparently utterly devoid of 
life; but the moment they are moistened they expand 
and become fresh and green again. Some specimens were 
sent to me from Perry County, Indiana, in February, which 
were all shriveled up and appeared to be dead. Upon 
moistening the moss about the roots the plants at once 
revived, and grew as luxuriantly as if upon their native 
trees. It has the same general appearance as the common 
Polypody, but is niucli smaller. The jjlant represented in 
the Plate is of natural size. 

On the stipe and back of the frond are situated a 
great number of scales, giving the plant a rusty appear- 
ance. The tissue of the scale has a loose, cellular struct- 
ure, resembling the indusium of some ferns. 

It is a well-marked species, and can be readily distin 
guished. It is not easily cultivated in the Wardian case, 
but may be grown successfully with a little care. {Plate V., 
figure 2. Scale magnified.) 


Plate VI, 

ADIANTUM. Linnaeus. 

Gen. Char. — Fruit-dots oblong or roundish, marginal ; indusium 
formed by the refiexed margin of the lobes of the pinnules; stipes 
black and polished, bearing delicate, veil-like fronds. 

This is a large and beautiful genus, characterized by its 
having the spore-cases situated on the reflexed margin of 
the leaflets. This reflexed margin serves the purpose of 
an indusium, or covering, the spore-cases being attached 
to the underside, and hence turned upside down upon the 
surface of the frond. All the plants have black, shining, 
wiry stems, variously branched, with the leaflets somewhat 
wedge-shaped, often fan-shaped, crenate, or fringed. The 
Adiatum is a favorite genus with the gardeners on account 
of its great beauty, its easy cultivation, and its convenience 
in giving variety to bouquets. A very handsome species, 
Adiantum Farleyense, has been lately introduced in our 
greenhouses. The common name of the fern is Maiden- 
hair, and is applied indiscriminately to all the species, as 
well to the A. Capillus-Veneris, found in the South of Eng- 
land, as to our own A. pedatum. The general appearance 
of the plants, however, is quite different, although the char- 
acteristic features of the genus are common to both. They 
have the same black, wiry stems and branches, with leaflets 
spreading like an embroidered veil. 

There are two species of Maiden-hair indigenous to this 
country — A. Chilense, Klf., a native of California, and be- 
longing to the Mexican flora, and A. pedatum (Linnasus), 
very common in this region, belonging to the Appalachian 


Plate VI. 

Maiden-hair Fern. 

The Maiden -hair is one of the most common ferns 
in our Kentucky woods, and is most luxuriant in damp, 
secluded nooks, where the direct rays of the sun seldom 
penetrate. There is no danger that the enthusiastic fern- 
collector will ever be able to exhaust the supply of this 
lovely plant in our woods, since it is so plentiful every 
where. The only regret seems to arise from the impossi- 
bility of conveying home but a few of the many examples 
of this woodland fairy. 

It has a creeping root-stock, sending up early in June a 
veil-like frond of branching leaflets. The upjier edge of 
the leaflet is notched wherever the margin turns over to 
inclose the spore-cases. The stem is black and shining, 
dividing towards the top into two main branches. These 
are again divided, forming, when fully developed, a pedate, 
or somewhat horse-shoe-like frond. This fern is very suita- 
ble for general cultivation in the \\'ardian case, in green- 
houses, or in mounds in the open air, if well sheltered from 
the sun. The Plate, on account of its small size, gives but 
an imperfect idea of what may be regarded as the loveliest 
of all our American ferns. Figure 2 shows part of a pin- 
nule of natural size; figure 3, a lobe of the pinnae, magni- 
fied and laid open (after Hooker and Bauer). 



PI vr 

Maiden Hair. 




-^ ''iJTrr/^. 

' / 




Plate VII. 

PTERIS. Linnaeus. 

Gen. Char. — Fruit-dots on the margins of the frond in a continu- 
ous line, the reflexed margin forming the indusium ; sporangia at- 
tached to a vein-like receptacle which connects the tips of the veins; 
stipes light colored. 

This is the typical genus of the tribe Pterideae, and is 
widely distributed. It is characterized by its having the 
spore -cases arranged in a continuous line along the mar- 
gins of the pinnules. The organs of fructification are cov- 
ered by the reflexed margin of the leaflet, which forms a 
continuous membranaceous indusium. 

The various species of this fern differ very widely from 
each other in form and color; some have the pinnules 
very long and linear, like ribbon-grass; others are beauti- 
fully tinted, resembling variegated leaves. 

An examination of the underside of the leaf, with its 
reflexed margin, will always enable the student to deter- 
mine the true character of this genus. It is closely allied 
to the genus Pellaea, which, in fact, was formerly included 
in it. There would seem, however, to be good ground for 
the distinction, and the best authorities have sanctioned 
the separation. Figure i, pinnules slightly magnified; 
figures 2 and 3, sporangia and spores greatly magnified. 
(Hooker and Bauer); figure 4, reflexed margin laid open, 
showing the venation. 


PI. vn; 

Common Brake. 


Plate VIII, 

The Common Bracken. 

The term Bracken is applied by some persons to all 
kinds of ferns. But the name appropriately belongs only 
to the Pteris aquilina. It is very properly referred by 
Mr. Redfield to his Cosmopolitan division, on account of 
its general distribution. It grows abundantly, both in the 
new and the old world. It is common on nearly all our 
Kentucky knobs, and is occasionally met with in the val- 
leys, especially among the loftier hills. On the AUegha- 
nies, in this country, and in the highlands of Scotland, the 
bracken often covers acres of ground, and such places be- 
come the favorite haunt of the deer. In Kentucky it is 
always found associated with the huckleberry, the moun- 
tain laurel, and other members of the heath family. 

It is a strong, vigorous fern, often three or four feet 
high; the stout stalk having three wide-spreading branches, 
giving the Avhole plant a triangular form. On account of 
its robust habit it is not very attractive in a small fernery, 
and is, besides, not readily cultivated. In its native woods 
it is exceedingly picturesque, and is a striking feature of 
the vegetation. It is impossible to represent this fern well 
on a small plate. 

Plate I, figure i (after Sachs), represents the root of the 
Pteris aquilina, giving a good idea of its manner of 

^•? f 

\ # ' 


W'^^ ^ /111 


— i^^ 



PI rx. 



Plate IX. 


Gen. Char. — Fruit-dots at the ends of free veins, covered, when 
young, by a mostly continuous indusium, formed by the reflexed 
margin of the lobe ; low, hairy, sometimes woolly plants, with 
stipes brown or black, shining. 

The species of Cheilanthes are very numerous, and are 
distributed over the tropical and temperate regions of the 
globe. The Cheilanthes fragrans, a dwarf bi-pinnate spe- 
cies, whose fronds have a pleasant odor like that of new- 
mown hay, is found along the Mediterranean, and reaches 
as far north as Switzerland. Arabia, Abyssinia, South 
America, and the West Indies yield a variety of species. 
Three well-marked species are indigenous to the Northern 
United States, and several to the Pacific States and Mexico. 

Some of the species of this beautiful genus have the 
underside of the fronds covered with a silvery or golden- 
colored powder, as in Gymnogramme. The fructification 
is somewhat similar to that of the Adiantum, but this 
apparent similarity disappears on close examination. In 
Cheilanthes the fruit-dots are arranged at the ends of the 
veins, close to the margin of the pinnule. This margin is 
turned over so as to form a lip, which then becomes the 
indusium. From this peculiarity of the indusium the 
generic name is derived — the lip-flower. 

The Plate shows a pinnule slightly magnified; and figure 
2, a lobe greatly magnified. 



'- ' ..^ 




Plate X. 

Clothed Lip-fern. 

The ferns of this genus, at least those indigenous to the 
United States, are very strikingly marked with a great pro- 
fusion of hairs, which cover the stalks and give them a 
rusty appearance. This plant, however, is less hairy than 
any of the other species found in this country. The frond 
is twice pinnate, lanceolate, with oblong pinnatifid pinnules, 
somewhat slender, usually seven or eight inches, but some- 
times fifteen inches in height. The mature fronds appear 
to be crisped from the reflexed condition of the lobes of 
the pinnules. The hairs are flattened, and strongly articu- 
lated, with from three to five joints, a characteristic which 
is not readily perceived without the aid of the microscope. 
The C. vestita is exceeding variable in form and general 
appearance, which is probably due to local and climatic 
influences. It is rare in Kentucky, and does not appear 
to have been found by the earlier botanists of the State. 
It is chiefly confined to the mountain regions. Some fine 
specimens were obtained, last summer, by Dr. Crosier on 
Sweet Lick Knob, near Irvine, Estill County. Although 
growing in the greatest luxuriance upon the rocks near the 
summit, the plants seemed to be rather diminutive, as the 
largest fronds were scarcely more than four inches in 
length. This was probably owing to the exposed situation 
where they grew. It is quite hardy, and able to withstand 
long droughts, as its fresh, green appearance upon the 
parched declivities of Sweet Lick Knob sufficiently indi- 
cates. Prof. Hussey found it near the boundary line of 
Edmonson and Barren counties, growing upon sandstone 


rocks "around a small well-like depression, eight or ten 
feet deep, on the eastern part of the ridge in which Short 
Cave is situated, not far from Diamond Cave." The spec- 
imens from the latter locality are much larger than those 
from Estill County. 

The Plate shows a plant of natural size, with the fronds 
in different stages of development. 




Fl XI 
Woolly Lip-Fern. 


Plate XI. 

Woolly Lip-fern. 

This is the rarest as well as the tallest and handsomest 
of the lip-ferns. I have not been able to find it in this 
State, though Prof. Gray, probably on the authority of Dr. 
Short, attributes it to Kentucky, without mentioning any 
locality. It is doubtless indigenous to the State, since it 
has been found in the mountains not far from the border, 
both in Tennessee and North Carolina. It is probably the 
Nephrodium lanosum, of Michaux, who gives its habitat 
as "rocky mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina." 
I am indebted to Mr. C. E. Faxon, of Boston, for the plant 
I have figured, who informs me that "it came from the 
Holston River, Tennessee, where his brother collected a 
considerable quantity of it several years ago." Mr. Red- 
field writes me that " the best known locality is on the rocks 
along French Broad River, just on the boundary between 
North Carolina and Tennessee, where it is very abundant. 
Possibly it may recede farther West, and it is to be sought 
for, if any where, not far from Cumberland Gap, and along 
the southeast border of the State." It is highly desirable 
that local collectors should make an effort to decide the 
vexed question of its existence in Kentucky, and furnish 
us with the exact locality in all cases. 

The best specimens of this plant which I have seen are 
not more than eight or nine inches in height, but I am 
assured that it is often found fifteen or twenty inches. The 
fronds are lanceolate, oblong, tri-pinnate, and densely cov- 
ered with slender, whitish hairs. The upper side of the 
frond is of a dark green color, and much smoother than 



the under side, which is quite woolly. It has a tufted root, 
clothed with a profusion of long rusty hairs. The dark 
brown stipe is also hairy. The tri- pinnate character of 
the fern is not perceptible at first, on account of the nu- 
merous hairs beneath, concealing the delicate segments 
and lobes of the pinnae. When the plant, however, is 
mounted on white paper and held up between the ob- 
server and the light, the beautiful tri-pinnate outline of the 
fronds becomes at once apparent. It is difficult to repro- 
duce its peculiar woolly texture in an etching, so that it 
may be readily distinguished from the C. vestita; but its 
specific characters are sufficiently marked to enable almost 
any one to identify it. 


Plate XII. 
PELL^A. Link. 

Cliff-Brake Fern. 

Gen. Char. — Fruit-dots in elongated patches on the upper part 
of the veins ; indusium membranaceous, continuous, formed of the 
reflexed margin; stipes dark colored. 

This genus has a great resemblance to Pteris, and was 
formerly embraced in that genus. But it is evidently dis- 
tinct. In the Pellasa the sporangia are arranged in elongated 
clusters at the ends of free veins. This is well exhibited 
in the young fertile frond; but, as the plant grows and 
reaches maturity, the clusters of sporangia are distributed 
in a linear order along the reflexed margin of the pinnule, 
forming a continuous line as in the genus Pteris. Near the 
apex of the leaflet it has a somewhat transparent, mem- 
branaceous border, which, toward the base, is folded over, 
and forms, with the re-curved margin of the pinnule, the 
covering or indusium. 

This genus is sometimes confounded with Allosorus 
(Bernhardi), to which it is very nearly related. There are 
ten species in the United States, mostly found in the 
Pacific States and New Mexico; but one is indigenous 
to Kentucky. 

I have attempted to show, in the magnified pinnule rep- 
resented in the illustration, the characteristic nature of the 
veins and of the indusium. 


Plate XII. 

Cliff-Brake Fern. 

The root-stock of this fern is tufted and surrounded with 
a number of chaffy scales. The stem is very black and 
polished, with a wiry appearance. The entire plant is stiff 
and coriaceous. The frond is pinnate, the pinnules of the 
sterile frond being more oval than those of the fertile, and 
somewhat heart-shaped at the base. The fertile frond is 
quite large, and in some situations attains the height of 
fifteen inches. 

This fern is very properly called Cliff- Brake, as it is 
usually found in the crevices of dry cliffs. It is well dis- 
tributed over the state of Kentucky, wherever there are 
limestone cliffs, though it is occasionally found in sand- 
stone formations. It is very abundant on the sides of the 
cliffs bordering on Beargrass Creek in the neighborhood 
of Louisville, on the limestone cliffs of the Kentucky 
River (Short), and generally along the cliffs of the Ohio 
River. In some places the fronds do not decay during the 
winter, becoming brownish and curled up, and no longer 
performing the office of a leaf, after the growth of the new 
fronds takes place. 

In cultivation it answers well for rock-work, but is not 
suitable for the Wardian case. 

The Plate shows a plant of natural size. 


Cliff Brake 






Spleen wort 


Plate XIII. 
ASPLENIUM. Linnaeus. 

S P L E E N \V O R T. 

Gen. Char. — Fruit-dots oblong or linear, oblique; indusium 
arising from the lateral veins, opening toward the mid-rib, sometimes 
double ; veins free, simple, or forked. 

The genus Asplenium is the type of the tribe Aspleniese, 
and is one of the largest of the whole family of ferns. Ten 
species are indigenous to Kentucky, and embrace all the 
species found in the Northern United States, except the 
somewhat doubtful A. ebenoides. Their habitat is as 
varied as their forms. They are found on mountain sides 
or in moist, open woods, on shaded cliffs, or in deep, rich 
valleys; some are very small, scarcely more than three or 
four inches in height; others attain the height of as many 
feet. The common name of the genus is Spleenwort, from 
its fancied virtue in curing diseases of the spleen. 

The sori, or fruit-patches, are elongated or linear in form, 
arranged along the back of the frond somewhat obliquely 
to the mid-rib, and near the middle of the pinnule — never 
at its margin. In an examination of the Asplenium, the 
young student should procure a well-developed specimen, 
richly covered with fruit-patches; otherwise it will be diffi- 
cult to determine the different species, especially the exotic. 

The Plate will serve as a guide for all our native species ; 
figure I represents pinnae slightly magnified; figures 2 and 
3, sporange and spore greatly magnified (Hooker and 
Bauer); figure 4, trichome or root-hair. The drawings of 
figures I and 4 were furnished by Prof. Hussey. The tri- 
chome (fig. 4) is not generic in character, but is found in 
some species. 


j- PI XIV 


Pmnatifid Spteenwort 


Plate XIV. 

This species is the most unattractive of the whole genus. 
The first and second pinnules of the fronds are sometimes 
pinnate, the entire frond is generally pinnatifid, the ex- 
tremity slightly inclined to taper into a slender prolonga- 
tion, somewhat similar to that of the Walking-leaf Fern, 
though not to such an extent. I have never found any 
plants of this species rooting at the apex, as in the case 
of the Walking -leaf. In some localities the fronds are 
very short and blunt, and quite unlike the normal type. 

This fern seems to frequent the neighborhood of sand- 
stone cliffs. It is quite plentiful in Rockcastle, Laurel 
(Miss Rule), Estill, Boone, and Grayson counties; at 
Rough Creek, Hardin County; in Edmonson and adjoin- 
ing counties, distributed throughout the cliff- limestone re- 
gions of Kentucky, and in Carter County, in the north- 
eastern part of the State (Hussey). 

This fern can not be cultivated successfully in mounds, 
on rock-work, or in the Wardian case. 

The Plate represents a plant of natural size. 








Bradley's Spleenwort. 


Plate XV. 

Bradley's Spleenwort, 

This exceedingly rare fern has been found only in Ten- 
nessee and Kentucky, and was named in honor of Prof. 
F. H. Bradley, of the East Tennessee University, who 
discovered the plant originally on the top of Walden's 
Ridge in the Cumberland Mountains, near Coal Creek, 
East Tennessee, in 1872. 

To enable other botanists to recognize the more readily 
this rare little fe^-n, I will give Prof. Eaton's description of 
the species: "Mature plant 8-10 inches high; root-stock 
short, covered with narrow, acuminate fuscous - black 
scales; stipes tufted, slender, ebeneous, as in the lower 
half or two thirds of the rachis; fronds membranaceous, 
oblong-lanceolate, varying to linear oblong, the largest ones 
5-7 inches long, and 1^-2 broad, pinnate; pinnae rather 
numerous (8-12 pairs), the lower ones more distant than 
the median ones, and of similar size, all short -stalked, 
oblong-ovate, obtuse or acutish, more or less incised, in 
the largest pinnatifid with oblong lobes which are toothed 
at the apex, in the smallest deltoid-ovate, slightly toothed; 
fruit-dots short, near the costules; indusium delicate. It 
differs from A. montanum in its larger size, more membra- 
naceous texture, narrower outline of the fronds and shorter 
stalked pinnae." * 

Although I have collected in all the localities in this 
State where it is likely to be found, I have never met with 
it, and I am indebted to Prof. Hussey for the specimens 
from which my drawing has been made, and mainly for 

•■■See Bull, Torr. Bot. Club, vol. iv, p. 11. 


such information as we have of its growth in Kentucky. 
He found it in June, 1874, in a single locahty, near Bee 
Spring, Edmonson County, about twenty miles west of 
Mammoth Cave. He has given me the following descrip- 
tion of this region: "All its water-courses, even the small- 
est wet-weather brooks and spring branches, take their rise 
between a series of steep cliffs, which form an elevated 
water-shed between Bear Creek and Nolin Creek, both trib- 
utaries of Green River, running in parallel courses, from five 
to ten miles apart, for a distance of twenty miles. This 
water -shed is intersected on either side by deep, high- 
walled ravines, whence gush forth cool springs, which 
either sink in the porous sandstone or murmur and plunge 
headlong to these rapid creeks. Under the overhanging 
sand -rocks, sheltered from the sun and sweeping winds, 
are sometimes spaces of vast extent, where the aborigines 
had their homes, as evinced by the numerous fragments of 
flints, and by the mortar holes in the detached masses of 
sand-rock. On one of these sandstone cliffs I found the 
Asplenium Bradleyi, and, recognizing it as new, I sent it to 
Dr. A. H. Curtiss, a botanical correspondent, from whom 
I learned that Prof. Eaton had already described it. On 
revisiting, in 1877, the spot where it was found, very few 
fronds could be obtained, and care should be taken that it 
is not exterminated. I have searched a hundred similar 
localities without finding it. It was found along with the 
A. montanum and A. pinnatifidum, and not far from A. 
ebeneum. Under a moist, overhanging rock, a few hun- 
dred yards distant, was found the Trichomanes radicans, 
shut out from direct sunlight, and where there was constant 

In the summer of 1876, Mr. C. C. Haskins, of New 
Albany, Ind., found a few fronds of this rare fern in the 


neighborhood of Big Clifty, Grayson County.* He de- 
scribes the locahty as on the banks of Meeting Creek, 
where a huge bowlder of sandstone, thirty-five feet wide at 
the base and thirty feet high, had fallen from the cliff, pre- 
senting a northern exposure perfectly shaded from the sun. 
The fronds were detected, on his return home, among a 
large number of A. pinnatifidum, which he had collected. 
The specimens were fully identified. 

•'-See Bull. Torr. Bot. Club, vol. vi, p. 123. 



Common Maiden-Hair Spieenwort 


Plate XVI. 

Common Maiden-hair Spleenwort. 

The Maiden-hair Spleenwort, the common name gener- 
ally given to it by the British botanists, has a very wide 
distribution, being found in all the temperate regions of the 
globe. Its habitat is generally on sandstone rocks, often 
associated with the A. pinnatifidum. Dr. Short found it 
in Kentucky on shady rocks; and Prof. Hussey says that 
"it grows in dense, green tufts, in moist situations, in the 
region which has the Mammoth Cave in its eastern part, 
and extends south, west, and north twenty or thirty miles — 
a region abounding in steep and often overhanging cliffs — 
in all, it may be a hundred miles in extent. Where the 
water drips from the rocks and constantly bedews the 
fronds it makes dense, roseate clusters, refreshingly green, 
and very attractive to the eye." 

The fronds are simple, pinnate; the pinnules wedge- 
shaped, and crenate at the margin. The fibrous roots are 
so firmly imbedded in the soil of the crevices and inter- 
stices of the rocks that it is difficult to secure good speci- 

Mr. Redfield refers this plant to his Cosmopolitan divi- 
sion. It is a little beauty, and a great favorite among fern 
fanciers. It dries well, and its delicate fronds are very 
suitable for decorative purposes. It is easily cultivated, 
especially in the Wardian case. 

The Plate represents the plant of the natural size, but 
specimens six inches in length have often been found. 

%^^- /^. ^ 


PT. xvn 


Ebony Spleenwort. 

Genera and species. 63 

Plate XVII. 

Ebony Spleenwort. 

The Ebony Spleenwort has some resemblance to A. Tri- 
chomanes, especially when the fronds are young; but the 
species is well marked. It is pinnate, lance-linear in form, 
often eighteen inches in height, with pinnae over an inch 
in length, the upper side triangular-lobed or somewhat half- 
halbert shaped. The fern varies very much both in size 
and general appearance. The etching aims to show several 
different kinds of fronds, the youngest, the more advanced, 
and the oldest, the latter with well-marked fruit -dots. 
The mature fronds are generally more contracted than 
those of a younger growth. 

The A. ebeneum is very common in all our Kentucky 
woods, especially on out - cropping rocks, and about the 
roots of beech-trees. It is found particularly on argilla- 
ceous hillsides (Riddell), preferring rich rocky woods, and 
common where there are no rocks on the surface (Hussey). 
It is so frequently met with that it is needless to give local- 
ities. It is very suitable for cultivation, either on rock- 
work or in the Wardian case. 



Mountain Spleenwort. 


Plate XVIII. 

Mountain Spleenwort. 

The Mountain Spleenwort has the same habitat as the 
Maiden -hair Spleenwort and the Pinnatifid Spleenwort, 
and is usually found associated with them. It is quite 
common in Kentucky, especially in the mountain regions, 
though my best specimens were obtained at Big Clifty, Gray- 
son County. A single plant had more than fifty fronds, 
each six or seven inches long; and Prof. Hussey, formerly 
of the Kentucky Geological Survey, has specimens in his 
collection over ten inches in length. Specimens are fre- 
quently found with the fronds bifurcating toward the apex, 
but only in thrifty plants. The roots are fibrous, penetra- 
ting the crevices of the rocks, as those of the A. Tricho- 

The Plate represents a plant of average size, the tallest 
frond to the right showing a slight attempt at bifurcation. 




Wall -Rue Spleenwort. 


Plate XIX. 

Wall-rue Spleenwort. 

This species, named from its resemblance to the common 
garden Rue, is the smallest of the Aspleniums in this coun- 
try, the average size being scarcely three inches in height. 
In sheltered locations it sometimes approaches five inches. 
It is generally found on exposed limestone rocks, selecting 
for its habitat the smallest holes and chinks to be found. 
It is much more difficult to get it out of its hiding place 
than any fern yet described. It is very hardy, remaining 
green all winter, even in exposed situations. It is very 
rare -in Kentucky. Dr. Short found it on the cliffs of 
Kentucky River. I have found it at Rock Springs, Old- 
ham County. 

This little fern is not a very attractive-looking plant, and 
is very apt to be ignored by ordinary fern-gatherers. In 
Europe it is widely distributed, generally growing on old 
bridges, or on the ruins of old abbeys and casdes. 

The fronds are bi-pinnate; the pinnae wedge-shaped, 
often toothed at the apex. In the fully-developed plant 
the fruit-dots are so close together that they generally form 
an elongated brown patch. 




Narrow Leaved ^\i\tf(\'NQA , [Sterile Frond } 


Narrow Leaved Spleenwo'rt , f/V/$^/>^/^</ 


Plates XX and XXI. 

Narrow-leaved Spleenwort. 

This fern differs from any of the Aspleniums yet de- 
scribed, both in general appearance and habitat. It loves 
the damp, rich soil of deeply shaded woods, and has for its 
companions the true Maiden-hair Fern, the Beech Fern, 
and the Lady Fern. It is a tall and graceful plant, often 
growing four feet in height. It has two kinds of fronds, 
the sterile and fertile. The sterile frond (Plate XX) is 
pinnate with lanceolate pinnae, broad at the base. It is 
very soft and delicate, and when fully grown is about two 
feet high. The fertile frond (Plate XXI) comes up much 
later, and is also pinnate, the pinnae contracted and narrow, 
the upper side being somewhat ribbed, and the lower pro- 
fusely covered with fruit-patches arranged in pairs on each 
side of the mid-vein. The frond is tall and linear, having 
the appearance of a willow wand. The two illustrations 
show the fronds cut off near the point, and are sufficient 
to enable the young student to determine the plant. 

The Narrow -leaved Spleenwort is a very tender fern, 
nipped by the first frosts. In July and August it is most 
luxuriant; accordingly, it is sometimes called the Summer 
Fern. It is very common in all our damp, rich woods. It 
grows quite readily on sheltered mounds with plenty of 
rich soil. 

m '.. 


fyij^-' ^ 


' .^ 

i'i xxn 


.Marsh Spleenwort. 



Plate XXII. 

This fern is also tall and graceful, with the same habitat 
as the A. angustifolium, and is often found along with it. 
The fronds are pinnate, the pinnae deeply pinnatifid. The 
fruit-patches are arranged on the back of all the fronds, in 
pairs, on each side of the mid-vein. It is, likewise, very 
tender, though apparently more hardy than the Narrow- 
leaved Spleenwort. However, it dies early in autumn. It 
is very common in all our rich woods, on the shady banks 
of streams, and loves plenty of moisture. It can be easily 
cultivated if placed in the proper soil. 

This stately fern presents a very striking and elegant ap- 
pearance as it unfolds its large, downy fronds, and, in strong 
contrast with some of the diminutive forilis of this genus, 
develops into a plant of graceful beauty. Figure 2, show- 
ing the uncurling of the frond, was sketched from the liv- 
ing plant. I have tried to represent the succession of the 
leaflets still folded up in the head. Though it appears to 
be hardy, its texture is quite soft and delicate. It grows 
well in shaded mounds, but is too large for the ordinary 
Wardian case. 

ASPLENHJM mix- rCEMlNA, Bernh 



Plate XXIII. 

Lady Fern. 

Some authors do not consider the Lady Fern as a true 
Asplenium, since the fruit-dots, instead of being linear, are 
half- moon shaped. It is the Athyrium of some, and by 
others it is referred to the genus Aspidium. The draw- 
ing is from a young frond, and represents the pinnae 
rather wide apart; but it would require a much larger 
plate to show this lovely plant as it really appears. It 
is very graceful in outline, and possesses an exceedingly 
delicate green tint. The Lady Fern is by no means un- 
common in Kentucky, having been collected by myself in 
many localities, and by Dr. Short on the low grounds along 
the Red River, and at Crab Orchard, Lincoln County. 

This is the favorite fern of the poets. Sir Walter Scott 
thus alludes to it: 

"Where the copse-wood is the greenest, 
Where the fountain glistens sheenest, 
Where the morning dew lies longest, 
There the Lady Fern grows strongest." 

The following description of this graceful fern, which 
applies as well to the species in this country, is taken from 
Moore's "Popular British Ferns:" 

"The Lady Fern claims precedence over every other 
British species on account of the exquisite grace of its 
habit of growth, the elegance of its form, and the deli- 
cacy of its hue. The habit of the plant is tufted, the cau- 
dex of the larger varieties often with age acquiring some 
height, and elevating the circle of fronds on a low, rude 
pedestal; this stem, however, never acquires more than a 



few inches in length. In winter the summit of this stem 
is occupied by a mass of incipient fronds, each rolled up 
separately and nestling in a bed of chaffy scales. In May 
or June these fronds become developed, a score or upward 
being usually produced. They reach maturity early in 
summer, during which time a few additional fronds are 
generally developed from the center. The form of the 
frond is lanceolate, more or less broad; and they are sup- 
ported on stipeles, which are scaly at the base, and usually 
about a third of the entire length of the fronds. The divi- 
sion of the fronds is bi-pinnate, pinnae lanceolate, drawn 
out at the point, the pinnules more or less lobed or pin- 
natifid. The delicate texture of the frond renders the 
venation very distinct."* 

This fern is very common in Kentucky. I have found 
the best specimens in Bullitt County, in deep ravines, at 
the base of the knobs. It is apt to vary considerably, 
sometimes bifurcating at the apex of the frond, and some- 
times with a dark, almost purple stem, and is generally 
showy. Young collectors are inclined to confound this 
plant with other species, but the slightly - curved fruit- 
patches will readily distinguish it. 

* Moore's History of British Ferns, 3d ed., p. 123. 


) <•,' 



,^;:r* -v^.. 

PI :<xiv 



Plate XXIV. 


Gen. Char. — Fruit-dots oblong or linear, single or in pairs, 
irregularly scattered ; indusium attached by one side to the lateral 
veins; veins reticulated. 

This is a very small genus of the group Aspleniese, con- 
sisting only of two species — one found but rarely in Sibe- 
ria, the other in the United States. The Siberian species, 
as well as that indigenous to this country, has the pecu- 
liarity of rooting at the apex, as shown in Plate XXV. 
The fruit -patches are oblong or linear; the veins reticu- 
lated, not free, as in most ferns. The sori are covered 
with a linear indusium, usually connivent or joined together 
in irregular unequal pairs, but sometimes scattered over the 
surface on account of the irregularity of the venation. 

The illustration shows part of the lower half of a frond, 
magnified several times, and also represents the sporange, 
with two spores highly magnified. All the figures given 
in the Plate are from Hooker and Bauer. The irregular 
arrangement of the sori and the peculiar character of the 
veins are brought out prominently, as these are significant 


PI. xxy 


Walking Leaf -Fern. 


Plate XXV. 

Walking-leaf Fern. 

The first impression of the amateur botanist on seeing 
this plant would scarcely lead him to believe that it is a 
fern at all. It does not have the appearance of a fern; 
but an examination of the fruit-patches and other peculiar 
features of the fern tribe will soon set him right. The 
veins of the leaf are somewhat different from most ferns, 
but still retain their general characteristics. It has a simple 
frond, auricled at the base. The auricles are sometimes 
quite long. The frond possesses the peculiarity of rooting 
at the apex. Tapering into a long, narrow prolongation, 
it bends down among the mosses, and very often takes root. 
Two and three generations are often found springing from 
the parent plant. The Asplenium pinnatifidum has some- 
times a slender prolongation, and has even been reported 
as rooting at the point; but this peculiar mode of growth 
in the Asplenium lacks verification. The Walking -leaf 
bears some resemblance to the Hart -tongue Fern {Scolo- 
pendriurn), but the leaves of the latter have free veins, and 
are blunt at their apices. The Walking -leaf Fern is an 
evergreen, and the best specimens are often collected in 
the winter. It is found in all our Kentucky woods where- 
ever there are detached, moss-covered bowlders, on out- 
cropping rocks and cliffs, either limestone or sandstone. 
It has about the same habitat as the Asplenium ebeneum. 

This plant is well named on account of its singular mode 
of attachment to the soil. It is of easy cultivation, either 
in mounds or in the Wardian case, and is especially suit- 
able for rock-work. 

.%= s 

:^H'^ fi 

"^^■"j^-^— ^--"-^-^^X 

xT"^ 1* />. 




Plate XXVI. 


Gen. Char. — Fruit-dots naked on the back of the veins near the 
apex; stipe continuous with the root -stock, not articulated with it; 
fronds ternate or twice pinnatifid. 

This genus has given rise to much discussion among 
pteriologists, or fern specialists. Formerly it was included 
in the tribe Polypodies, and was considered a true Poly- 
pody, including the P. hexagonopterum of Michaux, which 
bid fair to be one of the very few ferns found by that en- 
terprising naturalist, whose name should survive the con- 
stant changes of the nomenclature. The fruit-dots were 
destitute of indusia, as in the Polypodium ; but the general 
appearance of the plant, the character of the veins, and 
the position of the sori were quite different from the latter. 
Prof. Sachs places this genus in the tribe Aspidieae, where 
it would seem to properly belong. Prof. D. C. Eaton, in 
the last edition of Gray's Manual, has also included this 
genus in the tribe Aspidieae. In a letter to the author this 
distinguished pteriologist remarks : " Phegopteris is capable 
of being defined in nearly the same words as Polypodium, 
but it really has nothing to do with it. But it is so closely 
connected with Aspidium that there is hardly any clear 
distinction between the two. The mode of growth from 
the root-stock is precisely the same; the position of the 
fruit-dots on the back of the vein, not at the tip or on the 
point of union of several veins, is the same in both; and 
the general shape and branching of the fronds are very much 
alike in the two. As to the presence or absence of indu- 
sium, the fact is that many species have been said by some 
authors to have no indusium, and other authors will find 


indusia after all. Then, in many Aspidiums the indusium 
is so small and delicate that it is hard to find even on 
living plants. On the whole, there is an unmistakable 
passage from Phegopteris into Aspidium. Some German 
writers even insist that the two are but one natural genus." 
Figure i represents a pinnule slightly magnified; figure 
2, a lobe greatly magnified, showing the situation of the 
sporangia and the structure of the tissue. 




Common Beech Fern. 


Plate XXVII. 

Beech Fern. 

The Beech Fern is the most easily recognized of all our 
common ferns. The root-stock is a slender, creeping stem, 
sending up, in early summer, a frond about eighteen inches 
in length, including the stipes. The frond is triangular in 
outline, and longer than broad, with the two lower pinnae 
reflexed and pointing forward. It has a somewhat chaffy 
and downy stalk. It grows luxuriantly in all our damp, 
rich woods, its root-stocks trailing under the moss, as in the 
Common Polypody, or penetrating the leaf- mold to the 
depth of a few inches. The fern is difficult to lift, particu- 
larly for transplanting, since the stems are brittle and easily 
broken; but by taking care to get plenty of soil, the plant 
may be moved, and when once settled in its new home 
it grows exceedingly well. It is readily dried, the fronds 
being very thin, and, if carefully preserved, they make 
very handsome specimens, either for the herbarium or for 
decorative purposes. 

The Beech Fern is the Polypodium Phegopteris of Lin- 
naeus, and of the older botanists; but the reason of its 
removal to a new genus will be apparent from the generic 
description. The plant in the illustration is of natural 
size, though often found much larger. A root -stock of 
Polypodium is given in Plate V, showing the characteristic 
difference between that genus and Phegopteris, where it 
will be observed that the stipe is articulated with the root- 
stock, and not continuous with it, as in the species belong- 
ing to the genus under consideration. 


In many respects this fern resembles so closely the 
other species found in Kentucky, that it may be even 
questionable whether they are really distinct. The rich 
soil of this region, together with climatic influences, may 
serve to produce a larger and stronger form in the P. 
hexagonoptera. There seems to be, however, this dis- 
tinction — the divisions of the lower pinnae in the latter 
are elongated and pinnately lobed, while in the P. poly- 
podioides they are oblong, obtuse, and entire. I have 
represented the two species as accurately as possible; 
and the attention of students is called to this similarity 
in the two forms in the hope that careful observations 
in future may settle the question beyond a doubt. 






PI xxvni 



Plate XXVIII. 

The general appearance of this fern is very similar to 
the one last described, except that the triangular frond is 
broader than long, the two lower pinns at right angles to 
the rachis, but not reflexed as in P. polypodioides. The 
main rachis is irregularly winged, as shown in the Plate. 
When fully grown the fronds are from seven to twelve 
inches broad. Is quite common in our Kentucky woods, 
and is often met with more frequently than the other spe- 
cies. Its general habitat is doubtless more southward, but 
it loves the same rich, open woods, and possesses all the 
characteristics of the Beech Fern. 

This is the Polypodium hexagonopterum of Michaux 
and Willdenow;* and, in the earlier editions of Gray's 
Manual, it was included among the true Polypodys. It 
furnishes a beautiful object for the microscope. It is easily 
decolorized; and, the tissue of the leaf being very thin, its 
reticulated structure is readily seen. Plate XXVI, figure 
2 shows a small portion of the frond of this fern highly 
magnified, bringing out the fine, glandular hairs, with the 
sorus situated upon the back of the vein. It is a very 
good object for double-staining — a process well known to 

*See Willd. Sp. PI. V, p. 200, and Michx. Flor. Bor. Am. II, p. 271. 

V. J 

V. \ 



V, ^ 



ASPIDIUM, Swart/. 



Plate XXIX. 
ASPIDIUM. Swartz. 

S H I E LD Fern. 

Gen. Char. — Fruit-dots roundish, scattered on the back of the 
frond ; indusium attached above the sori, round or kidney-shaped ; 
veins free, simple, or forked ; stipes not articulated with the root- 

Aspidium is one of the largest genera of ferns, and is the 
typical genus of the tribe Aspidice. Eighteen species are 
given by Mr. Redfield in his " Geographical Distribution 
of the Ferns of North America," without including the 
six varieties enumerated by John Robinson in his excellent 
"Check List of the Ferns of North America, north of 
Mexico." Of these seven are indigenous to Kentucky, 
so far as I have been able to discover, though it is quite 
possible that the number may be increased. 

The form of the fruit-dots and their covering (indusium) 
is the principal characteristic of this genus. The indusium 
is flat, round, or somewhat kidney -shaped, resembling a 
shield, whence the name of Shield Fern (Plate XXIX, fig- 
ure 2). This shield, in some species, is quite orbicular, 
and fixed at the center. Figure 3 shows a number of spo- 
rangia; some bursting their elastic rings. Most of the 
members of the genus are strong-growing, pinnate ferns. 
The Plate represents the Aspidium marginale, a very com- 
mon, but tall and beautiful plant. 


Marsh Shield -Fern 


Plate XXX. 

Marsh Shield Fern. 

The usual habitat of this fern is in swamps and boggy 
marshes, choosing for its companions the Sensitive Fern, 
the Osmundas, and the cryptogamic and flowering plants 
peculiar to marshy ground, such as the Sagittaria, Lizard's 
Tail, Cat-tail Flag, Equisetum, etc. The plant has a beau- 
tiful fresh green color, the dark green of the upper side of 
the fronds contrasting very strongly with the light green 
of the back, occasioned by the profusion of light-colored 
fruit-patches. It comes to maturity about the latter part 
of July or the first of August. The frond is pinnate -lan- 
ceolate, pinnae deeply pinnatifid; the margins of the lobes 
are revolute. 

It is not very common in Kentucky. The best speci- 
mens I have obtained were from a marsh near Prospect, 
on the Narrow Gauge Railroad, about ten miles from 
Louisville. The -Plate represents a piece of a frond natural 


l^r\^ " --^-:./ ---t-' v^^" x'^" , 


NewYork Shield Fern 


Plate XXXI. 

New York Shield Fern. 

This fern is even more delicate than the A. thelypteris. 
The length of the frond from the root-stock averages about 
fifteen inches. It is pinnate, lanceolate in outline, but 
tapering both ways from a point a little below the middle. 
The pinnte are lanceolate, tapering to a point; the lobes 
of the pinnae less blunt than those of the Marsh Shield 
Fern. The color of the fronds is a pale green, and is the 
same on both sides. The indusium is very minute, and, 
except in young plants is not easily seen. It is not very 
common in Kentucky, but grows luxuriantly about Living- 
ston, Rockcastle County. 

It is one of the most difficult ferns which I have at- 
tempted to draw, on account of its similarity to the Marsh 
Shield Fern, just described. The outline of the two ferns, 
especially that of the pinnae and lobes, is exactly alike in 
both. In the illustration I have tried to give the whole 
plant, showing how the pinnae taper toward the base. The 
greatest difference, however, between the two ferns lies in 
the character and arrangement of the fruit-dots, and in the 
texture of the tissue of the fronds. The New York Shield 
Fern is very delicate and tender; indeed almost transpar- 
ent, with the fruit-dots near the margin of the pinnule, in 
separate round patches; the Marsh Shield Fern is rather 
coarse looking, with a great profusion of sori situated in 
close, round patches, forming, when ripe, a continuous 
line. The margin of the pinnule is slightly reflexed, not 
forming, however, an indusium, as in Pteris and Pellaea, but 
is simply recurved. 


_ ill:. «S' V 1 Vn', 




if ■ 

., • ■' ' 


•.' t 

'^ lj: • 

/ i' ,# 


spiny Shield- Fern. 


Plate XXXII. 
ft.SPIDIUM SPINULOSUM. V. Intermedium. Willd. 

Spring Shield Fern. 

Of the three varieties of A. spinulosum, this is the only 
/one which I have found in Kentucky. It is the A. interme- 
dium of Willdenow, not of Muhlenberg, the fern described 
by the latter being the A. spinulosum, which I have not been 
able to find in this State, though Riddell attributes it to the 
low, damp forests of Central and Northeastern Ohio.* The 
variety intermedium, however, is by no means uncommon 
in Kentucky, though I have seldom found it in Jefferson, 
Oldham, or Bullitt counties; but it grows in the greatest 
perfection at Big Clifty, Grayson County, as well as in 
Laurel, Rockcastle, Edmonson and Hardin counties. 

It is a very graceful fern, which collectors may readily 
mistake for the Lady Fern, but the round fruit-dots, the 
minute spiny teeth of the lobes, and the coarseness of its 
general appearance will serve to distinguish it from the 

®See Synopsis of the Flora of the Western States, by John L. 
Riddell, A. M., Cincinnati, 1835, p. 106; also Supplementary Cata- 
logue of Ohio Plants, Cincinnati, 1836, p. 21. It is difficult to deter- 
mine with certainty, from his descriptions, whether the latter of the 
two ferns described by Riddell is identical with our var. interme- 
dium, Willdenow (Eaton ?) ; but the forms are so variable that it 
may be questionable whether the A. spinulosum should be digni- 
fied with any varieties whatever, the Swartzian species being suffi- 
ciently comprehensive to include all its variations. From a careful 
comparison of the Kentucky specimens, which seem to belong to 
the var. intermedium, with Hooker's typical A. spinulosum, kindly 
sent me by Mr. Davenport, I am convinced that the differentiation 
is so variable, the forms passing so imperceptibly into each other, 
that no particular type can be said to be wholly persistent. On this 
point see Hooker and Arnott's British Flora, p. 570, note. 


latter. With their finely -dissected lobes the fronds are 
exceedingly elegant, and render it specially desirable for 
interior decoration. They are about two feet and a half 
high, oblong -ovate, twice pinnate, with pinnatifid pinnules. 
The lobes are furnished with very small spinous teeth, 
which are much more marked in some plants than in 
others. The base of the stipe is covered with a number 
of large, membranaceous, dark brown scales. 

The Plate represents a small frond of full size; the spiny 
tooth is scarcely definite enough. 



1^ ^ ^^^ ^^M-^ 



Crested Shield Fern,. 


Plate XXXIII. 

Crested Shield Fern. 

This is a tall fern with somewhat linear or lanceolate 
fronds, often two and a half feet high, pinnate, with slighdy 
stalked pinnae, triangular-ovate, and deeply pinnatifid, the 
lobes serrate or finely toothed. The short triangular pinnae 
and the well defined fruit-dots, arranged in two rows on 
the lobes, distinguish it at once from all other Shield Ferns. 
Hooker remarks that its outline is quite distinct from that 
of the A. spinulosum, in being narrowed below. It seems 
to be rare, even in Europe, where it is found on boggy 

Riddell has stated that it is common in Central Ohio, 
without attributing it to Kentucky, from which it may be in- 
ferred that Dr. Short had not found it in this State ; indeed, 
the latter makes no mention of it in any of his published cat- 
alogues of Kentucky plants. From my own experience in 
collecting, I should consider it much less common than the 
other Shield Ferns which I have described. I have never 
met with it, but it will doubtless be found in swampy local- 
ities in the mountain counties. It was found by Miss Rule 
near Rockcastle Springs, Laurel County ; * but Prof. Hussey, 
who botanized very thoroughly over Edmonson and ad- 
joining counties, was not able to discover it in that region. 

The Plate shows a small frond natural size. 

* See Bot. Gazette, vol. ii. p. 62. 


Goldie's Shield -Fern. 


Plate XXXIV. 

Goldie's Shield Fern. 

This is the largest and handsomest of all the Shield Ferns 
in this country, being frequently more than three feet in 
height, with broadly ovate pinnate fronds; the pinnae alter- 
nate, stalked, oblong - lanceolate, with lobes deeply cut, 
wavy, crenate. The pinnae at the broadest part of the 
frond are about six and a half inches long and one and 
a half inches wide. The somewhat scythe-shaped lobes 
bear about eight pairs of fruit-dots, which are very distinct 
and well defined, and furnish beautiful examples of the 
characteristic fruit-dots of the genus. 

Although it may be considered a somewhat rare fern in 
the less elevated portions of the State, it is not uncommon 
among the mountains, where altitude makes amends for the 
lack of a higher latitude, more suitable to its growth. I 
have found it in great abundance near the Little Rockcastle 
River, in Laurel County. 

The illustration gives a few of the pinnae, natural size; 
it conveys, however, at best but a very imperfect idea of 
this splendid fern. 

■ ■•n.- 



Marginal Shield-rern 


Plate XXXV. 

Marginal Shield Fern. 

This is a beautiful fern, and serves better than any other 
to show the true characters of the genus. The fronds are 
about two feet long, pinnate, ovate-oblong; the pinnae lan- 
ceolate, slightly curved toward the apex. The fruit-dots 
are readily observed by means of a pocket lens. They 
are placed near the margin of the pinnule, and are beau- 
tiful objects for close examination with the microscope. 
The plant is evergreen, rather coarse in texture, the upper 
side of the frond dark green, the under a very pale green. 
It is not a common fern in Kentucky, though it is very 
abundant in Rockcastle County, and doubtless in other 
mountain counties of the State. 

On account of its large size it can only be readily culti- 
vated in the open air, and not in the Wardian case. The 
Plate is too small to give any thing more than a general 
idea of this elegant representative of the fern tribe. 


".^ / 


^Y ~V= 



Christmas Shield-Fern . 


Plate XXXVI. 

Winter Fern — Christmas Fern. 

This is undoubtedly the most commonly met with of all 
the Shield Ferns. In fact it is the best known of our native 
ferns, growing every where without any special habitat. 
The best specimens have usually been obtained, however, 
along the banks of streams. It is found as well in ex- 
posed situations upon high rocks, as in ravines or deeply- 
shaded woods. 

The average size of the plant is about twenty inches, 
but some attain a height of over two feet. It has a strong, 
tufted root- stock; the stipe covered very profusely with 
membranaceous, chaffy scales; the frond lanceolate, pin- 
nate; the pinnae lanceolate, with a well-marked triangular 
lobe on the upper side. The frond becomes very narrow 
and contracted toward the apex, probably on account of 
the pabulum supplied to the leaf being used up in fruit- 
patches, which cover the entire surface of this constricted 
portion. The plant is very variable, being sometimes 
broad and foliate, when the fronds are generally sterile, 
and not so strongly marked with spines. The fertile 
fronds are much narrower than the sterile, the pinnae be- 
coming crisp and wavy. The Plate represents the frond 
near the middle, with the point bent, showing the fructifi- 
cation beneath. 

This fern is very hardy, and is consequently very suit- 
able for out-door cultivation. 



r i 





^jia rider Ferii 


Plate XXXVII. 
CYSTOPTERIS. Bernhardi. 

Bladder Fern. 

Gen. Char. — Fruit-dots roundish, on the back of the free veins ; 
indusium inflated, attached by a broad base beneath the under side 
of the sorus, opening toward the apex of the segment ; veins forked. 

This is a small genus of fragile ferns, chiefly confined to 
the temperate latitudes, though the C. fragilis has a very- 
wide range, and might almost be included in Mr. Red- 
field's Cosmopolitan division. The illustration, taken from 
Hooker and Bauer, gives a magnified view of the leaflet, 
showing the arrangement of the fruit-dots, the sorus, with 
the indusium laid open, and the sporange with its spore, 
all highly magnified. The indusium, or covering, of the 
fruit-dots is in the form of a small leaf, broad at the base 
and tapering to a point. This character can only be ob- 
served with the aid of a pocket lens. The sori are situ- 
ated on the veins a little short of the apex, while in most 
other ferns they are at the ends of the veins. 

The common name of Bladder Fern is given to plants 
of this genus on account of the peculiar inflated appear- 
ance of the indusium when fully mature. Only three 
species are found in this country — the C. montana, from 
Alaska, the C. fragilis and C. bulbifera; both of the latter 
being common. 






Common Bladder Fern. 

This is one of the earHest of our native ferns to welcome 
the coming spring. It is a fragile, delicate little plant, send- 
ing up its scroll -like fronds before the snow has scarcely- 
left the ground. In our Kentucky woods its first compan- 
ions are the Spring Beauty, the Hepatica, and the Violets. 
Its usual habitat is the crevices of damp and dripping 
rocks, where the soil is deep and rich; and it is found 
in great luxuriance in deeply -shaded woods, with fronds 
quite two feet in height, strong and erect, profusely covered 
with fruit-dots. In such places the scaly root-stock, ten or 
twelve inches long, seems to spread out in every direction; 
when confined to the rocks, the root-stock is more tufted, 
the fronds broader and not so high. From the great num- 
ber of seedlings found during all the summer months, the 
spores would seem to germinate readily. These tiny seed- 
lings are very convenient for examination, showing the 
structure and venation much better than the older plants. 
The pinnae of the young fronds are more ovate and closer 
together than in those farther developed. At first the plant 
is of a light green color, soft and smooth, growing coarser 
as it grows older, with the addition of a few scattered chaffy- 

It is represented in the Plate of natural size, with its 
tufted root and fronds in various stages of growth. The 
full-grown frond is bent over so as to show the under side. 

It is easily cultivated wherever a good rich soil is sup- 
plied, being easily raised in the Wardian case, in mounds, 
or on rock-work. 

"h^ *, 



\ M f\ *; 




Plate XXXIX. 

Bulbous Bladder Fern. 

The specific name, bidbifcra (bulb -bearing), applied to 
this plant, is much more characteristic than many of the 
scientific names given to plants. On the underside of the 
rachis and pinn?e are situated, at intervals, several litde 
bulbs, which the amateur might readily mistake for organs 
of fructification. They are, however, in no way connected 
with the fruitybearing function, but are mere excrescences, 
or expansions of the epidermal tissue. 

I'his plant has the same general appearance as the C. 
fragilis, with much longer lanceolate fronds, often two feet 
in length, with lance-oblong pinnae. The stem is so frail 
and delicate that it seldom supports the plant in an upright 
position, but allows it to bend over upon the rocks or the 
surrounding vegetation. It is not so common in Kentucky 
as the preceding species. But it is found in numerous 
localities, on the cliffs of the Kentucky River (Short), and 
notably at Rock Springs, in Oldham County, where it 
grows in moist situations in the greatest luxuriance. It is 
a very tender fern, withering at the first touch of frost, and 
difficult to cultivate. 

PI. XL. . 


Plate XL. 

ONOCLEA. Linnaeus. 

Gen. Char. — Fruit-dots round, one on the middle of each pri- 
mary vein, soon confluent ; sterile and fertile fronds unlike, the latter 
much contracted ; indusium very thin, attached by its lower side, 
opening toward the apex of the pinnule ; veins finely reticulated. 

This is a very distinct and well-marked genus, charac- 
terized by its having the sporangia incased within berry- 
shaped, closed involucres, formed from the revolute pin- 
nules. The fertile frond is erect, growing from the center 
of the tuft, bearing its fruit-capsules in a one-sided spike 
or raceme. The long-stalked sterile fronds are triangular 
in outline, and are given off separately from the creeping 

In general appearance it does not resemble any of the 
rest of the Polypodiaceae, the fertile fronds especially differ- 
ing widely from those of other members of the group. 
The peculiar character of the sporangia, however, with 
their vertical incomplete ring, fixes beyond question its 
place in this natural sub-order. The figures which I have 
presented are all taken from the excellent work by Hooker 
and Bauer. I regret that the smallness of the Plate did 
not permit me to give the entire series of magnified veins. 

Figure i represents the fruit-bearing portion of the fer- 
tile spike, natural size; figure 2, an upper view of a fertile 
pinnule; figure 3, an under view of the same, showing the 
sporangia through the membranaceous indusium; figure 4, 
the sporangia bursting open. 

^V^^ cJ^'-' '^^^^.^^^^t- ^ 

Sensitive Fern. 


Plate XLI, 

Sensitive Fern. 

The Sensitive Fern is the only species of the genus 
found in this country, and thougli common to the regions 
east of the Mississippi, it has in fact a very Hmited range. 
Mr. Redfield says, " Onoclea sensibihs, though absent from 
Europe and most of Asia, appears in Mantchooria and 
Japan. I am not aware that it now occurs in the western 
portion of our own country; but it is a very interesting 
fact that it has been discovered in a fossil state in the 
eocene tertiary of Montana."* 

It is one of the most common of all our Kentucky ferns, 
and is met with in swamps and marshes, associated with 
the Osmunda regalis and O. cinnamomea. It is sometimes 
called the Oak Fern from the resemblance of its deeply 
cleft leaf to that of the oak. The common name of Sen- 
sitive Fern, derived from its Latin specific name, conveys 
no idea whatever of its peculiar character, as sensibility is 
the very least of its attributes. 

A variety is sometimes found in which some of the pin- 
nce of the sterile frond become contracted and pinnatifid, 
bearing fruit-dots as in the fertile; but I have found, in 
such cases, the s])orangia wanting, while next year the 
abnormal frond would resume its original form. It is 
simply a further illustration of the law of morphology, 
which is applicable to every member of the vegetable king- 
dom. It is easily cultivated. The Plate represents a por- 
tion of the sterile frond, with its delicately-reticulated veins. 

"•■■ Geograph. Distrib. of Ferns. Bull. Torr. Bot. Club, vol. vi, p. 4. 





Plate XLII. 

■WOODSIA. Robert Brown. 

Gen. Char. — Fruit-dots roundish, scattered on the back of 
simply-forked, free veins ; indusium attached under the sori, burst- 
ing at the top into numerous jagged segments. 

This genus, named in honor of Joseph Woods, an EngHsh 
botanist, author of the "Tourists' Flora," is represented in 
this country by six species of small, tufted, pinnately-divided 
ferns, all of which, with a single exception, are properly 
northern species, though I have doubtfully added another, 
so as to include all the species likely to be found in this 
geographical region. The Woodsia is widely dispersed in 
temperate latitudes, extending in Europe from the East 
Indies to Great Britain, and, on the western continent, 
from British America to Peru, with the exception of the 
intermediate tropical region. 

The indusium, instead of covering the sori, as in nearly 
all the other ferns, is attached beneath them on the frond. 
While young, however, the sporangia are inclosed within 
the indusium, which forms a sort of cup. As the frond 
develops the cup -like indusium bursts open, forming in 
some species, after it spreads out, a number of articulated 
hair -like bodies composed of irregular cylindrical cells. 
Figure i represents the magnified portion of a frond; fig- 
ure 2, sori magnified; figure 3, spore magnified. Figures 
2 and 3 are from Hooker and Bauer. 


W^^ .' 


PI XLllI. 




Plate XLIII. 

Obtuse-leaved Woodsia. 

This fern might possibly be mistaken for the Common 
Bladder Fern {Cystopteris fragilis). It has the same general 
appearance, grows to about the same size, and has some- 
what the same habitat. But these ferns have no relation- 
ship. The frond is lanceolate, broader than in the Cystop- 
teris, and the stipe and pinnae are glandular-hairy. The 
indusium of this species differs somewhat from that repre- 
sented in the magnified view of W. Ilvensis (Plate XLIV), 
splitting into jagged lobes, instead of being lacerated into a 
fringe of bristly, chaffy hairs. It is the Aspidium obtusum 
of Willdenow, and the Polypodium obtusum of Swartz.* 

The Obtuse -leaved Woodsia is frequently met with in 
Kentucky in exposed situations, being better able to endure 
the direct rays of the sun than most ferns. In such places 
the pinnse are often very much contracted, so that they 
seem to be crisp, and apparently quite rolled up. I ob- 
tained the best specimens of this fern from exposed, out- 
cropping rocks on Beargrass Creek, Jefferson County. The 
tufted roots were deeply imbedded in the soil of the larger 

The Woodsia grows well in mounds, on rock-work, in 
hanging-baskets, or in the Wardian case. 

* See Willd. Sp. PI. V, p. 254, and Swartz, Synop. Filic. 39. 




Elba 'Woodsia. 


Plate XLIV. 

Elba Woodsi a. 

This is a small, tufted species, not more than five inches 
high, with oblong-lanceolate fronds, bearing pinnately-parted 
crowded pinnae, the lower more widely apart than those 
toward the apex. The pinnules are numerous, obtuse; the 
points somewhat crenate, with the fruit-dots near the mar- 
gin, and confluent, at least on the mature fronds. The 
whole plant, especially on the under side, is covered with 
rusty, chaffy hairs. The articulation of the stipe is charac- 
teristic. Unlike the Polypodium the joint is not at the 
root-stock, but from a half an inch to one inch above the 
base, and much less distinct. When the frond decays it 
always breaks off at this place, and not at some indefinite 
point of the stipe, as in most ferns. 

I have not been able definitely to give this beautiful little 
fern "a local habitation and a place" in Kentucky, although 
there are reasonable grounds for believing that it inhabits 
the rocky spurs of the great Appalachian chain, along the 
eastern border of the State. As it is the most character- 
istic species of the genus, and as it may help local col- 
lectors to identify this representative of a more northern 
latitude, I have included it among the Kentucky ferns. 

It is the Nephrodium rufidulum of Michaux, and is 
found in the Northern United States and Canada, and, 
according to Gray, southward in the Alleghanies; and is 
therefore very properly referred by Mr. Redfield to his 
Boreal region. The counties of Boyd, Martin, Pike, Har- 
lan, Bell, and Whitley, by their altitude, are well adapted 


to be its home; and botanical students or local collectors 
are requested to report any discovery they may make of 
it in this region. 

The etching represents a plant, natural size, which was 
kindly furnished me by Prof. J. M. Coulter, of Hanover 
College, Indiana. 






Plate XLV. 

DICKSONIA. L'Heritier. 

Gen. Char. — Fruit-dots very small, marginal, at the apex of a 
free vein or fork ; indusium cup-shaped, membranaceous, opening at 
the top, and partly adherent to the reflexed margin. 

This genus, named in honor of James Dickson, a noted 
English cryptogamic botanist, furnishes some of the most 
noble and graceful specimens of the vegetable kingdom — 
the Tree Ferns of the tropical islands of the Pacific and 
Indian oceans. The form and arrangement of the organs 
of fructification, however, as in other ferns, determine their 
place in the order of Filices. A single unpretentious spe- 
cies represents the genus in this country. 

It belongs to the tribe Davalliere, characterized by its 
having the sporangia inclosed within a slightly -recurved 
lobe of the pinnule. A magnified view of the pinnule, 
showing the venation and the position of the fruit-dots, is 
given in the Plate. Figure 2, still more magnified, shows the 
reticulated structure of the leaf-tissue and the cup-shaped in- 
dusium or involucre bursting and discharging the sporangia. 

Hooker, in his "Genera of Ferns," says that "the indu- 
sium or involucre appears to be formed of a dilated (at 
length membranaceous) portion or tooth of the frond, 
which unites with a scale arising from the apex of a nerve 
on the under side of a pinnule." There is formed, at 
first, a nearly globose, entire indusium, which soon bursts 
at the top, sometimes with a transverse cleft, and some- 
times with an irregular circular opening. In all the speci- 
mens which I have examined the opening was irregular. 
A number of delicate microscopic hairs may be found 
on the margin of the indusium. 


;3,A^5.v^^ ..._.. 



.'» ' ,.■/■ 

vV" . ?:;. ^ 


,^' " 


PI y;::/i 





Plate XLVI. 

Sweet-scented Fern. 

This is the only American species of the genus, and is 
not common in Kentucky, though Prof. Hussey reports it 
as growing abundantly in Edmonson County. I have some 
beautiful specimens from the banks of Silver Creek, Clark 
County, Indiana, only a few miles from Louisville. They 
grow on loose, shaly rocks, apparently without much nour- 
ishment. It may be readily mistaken by the young bota- 
nist for the Lady Fern. But a careful examination of the 
fruit-dots, in well-developed plants, will enable him to iden- 
tify it at once. 

The frond is about two and a half feet high, lanceolate- 
ovate, and twice pinnate. The pinnules are exceedingly 
regular m outline, resembling patterns for decorative de- 
signs. The whole plant is covered with numerous little 
glands which emit, when crushed, a very pleasant odor. 

This fern has a trailing root-stock, and is very difficult to 
transplant, but with care it may be made to grow very well. 
It needs plenty of room in which to develop its graceful 

A piece of a frond, natural size, is shown in the Plate. 







Plate XLVII. 


Gen. Char. — Fruit-dots marginal, at the ends of free veins ; in- 
dusium urn-shaped, cylindrical, in which the sporangia are borne 
upon an elongated receptacle (columella) ; the frond delicate and 

The gentis Trichomanes is the only representative of the 
sub -order Hymenophyllaceae in this coiuitry. It differs 
widely from any of the ferns yet described, not only in 
the form and arrangement of the sporangia, but in the 
peculiar texture of the foliage, and the disposition of the 
capsules upon the frond. The pellucid appearance of the 
leaf-tissue is common to all the Hymenophyllacese. This 
transparency is due to the fact that the fronds have but a 
single layer of cellular tissue, while the darker veins are 
composed of several layers of compact tissue. In many 
respects they resemble mosses more than true ferns; and, 
accordingly Prof. Sachs assigns them the lowest place in 
the fern family, next to the mosses. But the unfolding of 
the leaf, as well as the venation, is exactly like that of the 
true ferns. 

The sessile sporangia are situated upon a long columella, 
inclosed in an urn-shaped involucre, upon the ends of the 
free veins at the margin of the leaf. The apex of the urn- 
shaped body does not project beyond the margin of the 
lobe of the pinnule, but the column or bristle is prolonged 
beyond it a quarter of an inch. This column, under the 
microscope, presents a series of spiral scars at the points 
where the sessile sporangia have been attached. 

The ferns of this group are confined to damp, secluded 
situations, shrivelling up when exposed to the direct rays 



of the sun. I have found species of the Hymenophyllum 
on the island of Arran, Scotland, growing in localities simi- 
lar to those occupied by the Trichomanes radicans in this 

Figures 2, 3, and 4 give microscopic views of the urn- 
shaped involucre, sporangia, and spore. The drawing is 
from that of Mr. Bauer, in Hooker and Bauer's " Genera 
of Ferns." After a careful examination of the specimens 
found in Kentucky, I can see no difference in them from 
the representations by Mr. Bauer, except that in our speci- 
mens the column seems to arise from the thickened cellular 
tissue a little above the base of the involucre. 


Plate XLVIII. (Frontispiece.) 

Bristle Fern. Killarney Fern. 

This exceedingly rare fern has a black, Aviry, creeping 
root-stock, with somewhat drooping fronds of very variable 
outline. The texture of the leafy portion is thin and deli- 
cate, with the veins surrounded by a sort of pellucid fringe, 
as in all the filmy ferns (Hymenophyllaceae). The plant is 
from three to ten inches high. The leaf- stalks have a 
kind of membranaceous keel or wing, and are smooth or 
somewhat rusty. 

The name of Killarney Fern was given to it by the 
English botanists on account of its being found, in Great 
Britain, only in the neighborhood of the Lakes of Killarney, 
Ireland. Previous to 1872 it had only been reported as 
found in Alabama and Tennessee (Gray), in this country; 
but in that year it was discovered in Carter County, Ky., 
by Dr. H. H. Hill, of Cincinnati. Carter County is in the 
northeastern portion of the State, near the borders of West 
Virginia. In the years 1873 and 1874 it was collected by 
Prof. Hussey in the same county, and in Edmonson and 
Barren counties. In Barren County, Prof. Hussey says 
that he "found it in more than twenty localities, always 
on rocks or moist earth, far under overhanging cliffs, at 
least where moisture never fails, and the direct rays of 
the sun do not reach during many minutes of the day. 
Usually the fronds are bedewed with moisture trickling 
from the rocks on which they grow." 

In 1876 Mrs. L. P. Yandell, of this city, found it in 
Laurel County, near Rockcastle Springs. In a letter to 
the author she thus describes the place where it was found : 


" My second view of the Trichomanes I can never forget. 
At a point where the immense chff seemed to have sud- 
denly parted, forming an angle of forty -five degrees, a 
small stream of water was falling from the top, a distance 
of about two hundred feet. In this angle, twenty feet 
above my head, was a fairy grotto about three feet deep 
and ten feet in circumference. It was lined above, be- 
low, and within with Trichomanes glistening in the spray 
of the falling water, many of the leaves eight inches long — 
a translucent fringe — deeply embowered in the shade of 
the overhanging chffs and rhododendrons, where no ray 
of sunshine had ever penetrated. The face of the cliff 
is about three hundred yards from the river, and the point 
where the plant grows is pure sandstone. These cliffs are 
the crowns to hills covered with great varieties of foliage, 
and the glens which lead up the middle of these arcades 
are filled with the rankest vegetation. The cliffs here form 
arcades from the banks of the river, which run from north 
to south." 

In the summer of 1877 Dr. Crosier, of Louisville, found 
it on the divide between the head waters of the Rockcastle 
River and the South Fork of the Kentucky River. It 
grew beneath an overhanging ledge of sandstone, where 
the rays of the sun never penetrated, and where it was 
kept constantly moist with water trickling from above. 
One of the Liverworts (Marchantia) was found growing 
with it in great abundance. The rocks overhead were 
fringed with rhododendrons. 

Prof Hussey, who first identified Dr. Hill's specimens, 
and who has made himself familiar with it in its native 
habitats, has kindly sent me the following account of it: 
"The thin, wiry root-stocks, densely clothed with roots or 
trichomes, are woven into a dense mat and come off in 


great masses, from which portions have to be torn. The 
fronds do not develop the fruit until they have been ma- 
ture for some time — apparently not until they are at least 
a year old, perhaps older. Then the ends of the veins en- 
large and grow beyond the margin of the frond. A season 
is occupied in developing the first cluster of spores. At 
the end of the second year the frond has borne some fruit; 
but the process of fruit-bearing continues for several sea- 
sons. The bristle, upon the base of which the sporangia 
grow, continues to develop, its base always covered with 
new sporangia. This bristle, when not broken off, becomes 
half an inch or more in length. By means of a sufficiently- 
high magnifying power the scars left on the bristle by the 
breaking away of the foot-stalks of the sporangia may be 
plainly seen. We can not tell how many years a single 
frond of Trichomanes radicans may live. It must exist 
five or six years, possibly more. It is difficult to command 
the conditions necessary to make it grow in cultivation. It 
will remain in a natural condition many months under a 
moist bell-glass, if aired occasionally to prevent molding. 
In 1877 I gave a portion in a fresh state to 'WiUiam,' a 
guide at the Mammoth Cave, to plant near the mouth of 
the cave, and I have since learned that it is doing well." 

Mrs. Yandell brought a few plants of this fern from 
Laurel County, two summers ago, and placed them in a 
pot filled with fibrous peat and sand. I have this fern in 
my possession, and it continues to put out new fronds. 
The vase is covered with a bell-glass, and is kept shaded 
from the sun's rays. 


A.^-- :_/ 








Plate XLIX. 

LYGODIUM. Swartz. 

Gen. Char. — Fruit -dots arranged on contracted pinnules of 
spike-like lobes, covered on one side by imbricate, hooded scales ; 
fronds leafy, climbing. 

This remarkable genus differs very much from any yet 
described, both from its general appearance and the pecu- 
liar arrangement of its fruit-bearing apparatus. It belongs 
to the sub-order Schizaeaceae, and is distinguished by its 
having the sporangia inclosed in the hooded scales of a 
two-ranked, imbricated spikelet. Figure i shows a portion 
of the fertile part of the frond magnified; a, the pinnules 
covered with imbricated scales (indusium); b, with the 
scales removed, exposing the sporangia fixed to the veinlet; 
figure 2, a sporange magnified fifty diameters. 

It differs widely from all other ferns from the fact that it 
is a climbing plant. The species of this genus are mostly 
confined to the warmer regions of the globe, although the 
only one found in this country is able to endure the ex- 
treme cold of a New England winter. Four fossil species 
of Lygodium are described by Mr. Lesquereux from the 
tertiary, and one from the cretaceous deposits of the West.* 
Though these specimens are mere fragments of leaves, the 
peculiar nervation is well preserved, and is quite sufScient 
to identify the genus. 

■••■See "Cretaceous Flora of the West. Territories," p. 45, plate i, 
figure 2; also, "Tertiary Flora," p. 61, plate v, figures 4-9. 



Climbing Fern. 


Plate L. 

Climbing Fern. 

The common name of this fern is very appropriate. It 
has a slender, twining stalk, bearing at intervals of a couple 
of inches alternate short branches; these are twice-forked, 
each subdivision bearing a palmate frondlet. The smaller 
fertile frondlets form a compound terminal panicle. The 
root-stock is creeping, and somewhat similar to those al- 
ready described in many other ferns. 

This is one of the rarest of our Kentucky ferns, and, of 
late years, has only been found within the limits of the 
State in a few localities. It had been previously given as 
indigenous to the State, in the works of Gray, Wood, and 
other botanists, without specifying localities, probably on 
the authority of Dr. Short, though I have not found it in 
the catalogues of either Short or Riddell. During the 
summer of 1876 Mrs. L. P. Yandell, of Louisville, and 
Miss G. H. Rule, of Philadelphia, discovered it at Rock- 
castle Springs, near London, Laurel County; and on a re- 
cent excursion (March, 1878,) to Livingston, Rockcastle 
County, I found it growing in great luxuriance, covering 
acres of ground on the moist declivity of the range of 
hills extending from Livingston to Pine Hill. The masses 
of twining fronds matted together and interlaced in a thou- 
sand directions, reminded me of clusters of dodder. Prof. 
Crandall, of the Kentucky Geological Survey, reports the 
Climbing Fern on the Cumberland table-lands near Cross- 
ville, Tenn. ; it is found in the Carolinas (Nuttall), in the 
western part of Virginia, on the borders of Kentucky and 
Tennessee (Michaux), and in Florida (Chapman). 


The Trichomanes and Lygodium, so far as our present 
knowledge extends, are both exceedingly rare in Kentucky, 
and we earnestly hope that these lovely ferns, however 
tempting they may be to fern collectors, may be left in 
their native habitat. Mr. Martindale, of Camden, New 
Jersey, in the "Botanical Gazette," for December, 1876, 
gives an account of seventeen species of ferns collected 
by Miss Rule, at Rockcastle Springs, among which was 
the Lygodium palmatum. 



Flowering Fern 


Plate LI. 

OSMUNDA. Linnaeus. 

Gen. Char. — Sporangia globular, short-stalked, destitute of an 
indusium, clustered on the margin of the much-contracted fertile 
frond, or portion of frond. 

This is the typical genus of the sub-order Osmundacere, 
and its characteristics are quite distinct. Figure i repre- 
sents a portion of a fertile frond slightly magnified; figure 
2, sporangia and spores greatly magnified, the globular 
sporangia with two valves opening from the top. The fer- 
tile part of the frond is very much contracted, the pin- 
nules being sometimes broad and foliate on one side, and 
narrow, with fruit-capsules, on the other. 

This genus has three representatives in this country, all 
found in Kentucky. They are tall stately plants, growing 
usually in low, wet grounds in the neighborhood of swamps 
and marshes. The fertile fronds, with their clusters of 
ferrtiginous sporangia, amid the masses of green foliage, 
serve to make them exceedingly picturesque. A fossil 
species is described from the Tertiary of the Western Ter- 
ritories. -i^ 

*See Lesquereux's Tertiary Flora, p. 60, pi. iv, fig. i. 


'■'1 f^iowenn^Fern. 


Plate LII. 

Royal Flowering Fern. 

This species is the best known of the Flowering Ferns, 
and has a wide geographical range, both in this country and 
in Europe. It is much admired on account of its majestic 
size. Moore describes it as sometimes growing, in Eng- 
land, to the height of eight or ten feet. But it rarely at- 
tains, in the United States, such stately dimensions. In 
the Wet Woods, four miles south of Louisville, it grows 
to great perfection, but I have never secured specimens 
over four feet in height. Along the Rockcastle River, for 
miles, it grows in such profusion that it holds a predominant 
place in the vegetation of that region. It flourishes in all 
the swamps and low lands of this State, and may be found 
along the alluvial banks of most of our water-courses. The 
sterile frond is twice-pinnate, the pinnae with about ten pairs 
of leaflets; the fertile frond is also twice -pinnate, with a 
dense racemose panicle of fruit-capsules (sporangia) at the 
top. When fully ripe this fruit-panicle has a showy appear- 
ance, like a flowering plant in fruit, whence its name of 
Flowering Fern. 

The scientific name of this fern has been the subject of 
much conjecture. Sometimes it has been said to be de- 
rived from Osmunder, the Saxon name of the Scandinavian 
Thor, and sometimes from Osmund, a traditionary person- 
age, of whom the following story is told: 

" At Loch Tyne dwelt the waterman, old Osmund. Fair- 
est among maidens was the daughter of Osmund, the water- 
man. Her light brown hair and glowing cheek told of her 
Saxon origin, and her light steps bounded over the green 


turf like a young fawn in his native glades. Often in the 
stillness of a summer's evening did the mother and her fair- 
haired child sit beside the lake to watch the dripping and 
splashing of the father's oars as he skimmed right merrily 
toward them o\er the deep blue waters. Sounds as of 
hasty steps were heard one day, and presently a company 
of fugitives told with breathless haste that the cruel Danes 
were making way toward the ferry. Osmund heard them 
with fear. Suddenly the shouts of furious men came re- 
motely on the ear. The fugitives rushed on. Osmund 
stood for a moment; then snatching up his oars he rowed 
his trembling wife and fair child to a small island covered 
with the great Osmund Royal, and, helping them to land, 
bade them lie down beneath the tall ferns. ' Scarcely had 
the ferryman returned to his cottage when a company of 
Danes rushed in; but they hurt him not, for they knew 
he could do them service. During the day and night did 
Osmund row backward and forward across the river, ferry- 
ing troops of those fierce men. When the last company 
was put on shore, Osmund, kneeling beside the river's 
bank, returned heartfelt thanks to Heaven for the preser- 
vation of his wife and child. Often in after years did 
Osmund speak of that day's peril; and his fair child, 
grown up to womanhood, called the tall fern by her 
father's name." 

The Royal Fern may be readily cultivated in mounds, 
with a rich, deep soil which retains the moisture, and is 
not exposed, at any time, to a parching summer sun. 






Clayton's Flowering f^rn. 


Plate LIII. 

Clayton's Flowering Fern. 

This curious fern is the O. interrupta of Michaux, which 
is really the most appropriate name, on account of the fer- 
tile frond being interrupted at intervals near the middle 
with contracted pinnae bearing the fruit-capsules; but the 
older name of Claytoniana claims the precedence. The 
Plate only shows the interrupted fertile frond, the sterile 
being very similar but broader. The transformation of 
the leaf- tissue into fruit -bearing organs is well exhibited 
in this plant. It grows to the height of about two and one 
half feet, and, when young, is clothed with a fine woolly 
substance which disappears when older. 

This plant is found in all our damp, rich woods, but is 
not so common around Louisville as the O. regalis. In 
Rockcastle County it is very abundant, as is doubtless the 
case in all the deep, rich woods of the mountain counties. 



Cinnamon Flowering Fern. 


Plate LIV. 

Cinnamon Fern. 

This is the only one of the Flowering Ferns in which 
the fertile frond differs very materially from the sterile. In 
early summer it sends up a tall frond thickly clothed with 
rusty wool. This frond is twice-pinnate, and is composed 
entirely of cinnamon-colored fruit-cases. The sterile frond 
bears opposite lanceolate pinnse, with broadly obtuse divi- 
sions. The fertile frond is very short-lived, withering in 
the early part of July, either lying shriveled at the base, or 
hanging to the fertile frond, which has now arrived at its 
greatest perfection, and is very smooth. The latter often 
attains the height of five feet, a tall majestic plant which, 
in the swamps of the Northern United States, becomes a 
very conspicuous object. 

The finest specimens I have obtained were found near 
Livingston, Rockcastle County. It grows also in the Wet 
Woods, near Louisville, and in a swamp at Prospect, on 
the Narrow Gauge Railroad. 

On account of the great size of the Flowering Ferns, it 
is difficult to show any thing more than their general struc- 
ture in the drawings. 





fSi"* _*- 

K. w 





Plate LV. 

M O O N W O R T . 

Gen. Char. — Sporangia sessile, naked, on the margin of the 1-3 
pinnated rachis, arranged in a double row ; fronds with a sterile and 
fertile segment, the fertile contracted; root fleshy; veins forked. 

This interesting genus belongs to the sub-order Ophio- 
glossacese, which, as has already been mentioned in the 
article on classification (Page 25), occupies a questionable 
place among the true ferns.* The genus is distinguished 
chiefly by its having the organs of fructification in an erect 
panicle, borne on a separate stem or branch of the frond. 
Hofmeister is of the opinion that the fertile frond is a shoot 
of the sterile one. The spore-cases, especially when young, 
resemble globular berries, which, as soon as they become 
mature, open vertically, presenting two symmetrical valves. 
These are somewhat coriaceous in texture, and opaque, 
and are destitute of an elastic ring, as in the true ferns. 
According to Davenport, external characters are not to be 
depended upon, the buds or spores furnishing the only un- 
varying characters by which the different species can be 
recognized. Each sporangium is an entire lobe of a leaf, 

*For a full exposition of the Ophioglossace^ I would refer the 
reader to the following works: Mettenius, Filices horte botanici 
Lipsiensis, 1856, p. 119; Milde, Monographia Botrychiorum, in 
Nova Acta Acad, Leop. Carolina, 1858, vol. xxvi ; Hofmeister, 
Germination, Development, and Fructification of the Higher Cryp- 
togamia (Ray Soc.) 1862, pp. 307-317; Hooker & Baker, Synopsis 
Filicum, 1868; Sachs, Text-book of Botany, Eng. ed., 1875, pp. 
378-383; Davenport, Notes on Botrychium Simplex, 1877; Daven- 
port, Vernation in Botrychia, in Bull. Torr. Bot. Club, 1878, vol. 
vi, pp. 193-199- 


the mother -cells of the spores being produced from the 
inner tissue. 

How the Botrychium differs in its development and 
mode of growth from other forms of the Vascular Crypto- 
gams must be left to the systematic works cited above. 
The excellent monograph, by Mr. Geo. E. Davenport, of 
Boston, has done much to simplify the subject, bringing to 
the notice of American readers the splendid researches of 
Milde, and, at the same time, supplementing them with his 
own careful investigations. Through his kindness I have 
been enabled to append to this work an etching from his 
Plate on the vernation in the Botrychia, drawn originally 
by Mr. Emerton (Plate LX). 

The name Moonwort is derived from the crescent or 
moon shaped leaflets of the fronds of B. Lunaria, Swartz, 
a species but rarely found in the United States. 

Plate LV, figure i, represents a fertile spike; figure 2, 
sporangium; figure 3, spore; figure 4, pinnee of sterile frond 
of B. Virginianum; the last from nature, the rest from 
Hooker and Bauer. 



i t^ 



^m^^ ^7^'^ 




Virginia Moon-wort. 


Plate LVI. 

Virginia Moonwort. 

This species is undoubtedly the handsomest of all our 
Moonworts. The sterile branch is sessile above the middle 
of the common stalk, and ternate, the lower pinnae spread- 
ing, forming a broad triangular frond. About the begin- 
ning of May, if growing in a rich soil, the plant possesses 
a thick, fleshy texture, which is lost when it attains matu- 
rity, becoming thin, delicate, and membranaceous. It is 
very variable, both in form and size. I have seen speci- 
mens two feet high and sixteen inches broad, measured 
from the points of the lower pinnje. It is common in 
Kentucky in damp, rich woods, where there are plenty of 
moisture and leaf-mold. In a dry, sterile soil it becomes 
slender and dwarfed, whence Pursh was led to establish a 
new species, the B. gracile.* It is found very generally 
throughout the United States and Canada, though restricted 
by Mr. Redfield to the Appalachian region. Singularly 
enough this fern was placed by Linnsusf among the 
Osmundas, which differ from it very widely, both in gen- 
eral appearance and in the peculiar mode of fructification. 

The Plate represents a portion of the plant, natural size, 
cut off at the point where the sterile branches oif from the 
fertile frond. The fertile frond, in the Plate, does not show 
the fruit in such profusion as would appear on a better de- 
veloped plant; yet it is sufficient to enable the student to 
determine the species without difficulty. 

*See Pursh, Flor. Am. Septen. vol. ii, p. 656. 
tSee Species Plantarum, 1579. 


PI. Lvn. 

BOTRYCHIUM TERNATIJ M,var.osi.iquum milcE 
lernate N/foon -wort . 


Plate LVII. 
BOTRYCHIUM TERNATUM. Var. Obliquum. Milde. 

T E R N A T E M O O N W O R T. 

This Moonwort is easily distinguished from the preced- 
ing. The sterile panicle arises from the common stalk 
near the ground, and is therefore long petioled. The tex- 
ture of the plant is altogether different from that of the 
Virginia Moonwort, in being coarse, thick, and succulent. 
The sterile frond is ternate, with oblong or lanceolate divi- 
sions, and, in this species, oblique at the base, toothed or 
irregularly pinnatifid, somewhat wavy, crisp or recurved, 
as shown in the Plate. 

This variety is the most common form of B. ternatum 
found in Kentucky. It is found in all our woods, and 
arrives at its greatest perfection in the months of July and 
August. The fertile frond remains green all winter. The 
vernation in Botrychia is very important, and Mr. Daven- 
port remarks that, "in B. ternatum and its varieties, the 
bud is very short and shaggy, the upper portion being so 
thickly covered with a hairy pubescence as to obscure the 
arrangement of the two fronds completely. This pubes- 
cence is wholly confined to the upper portion of the bud, 
the stalk remaining perfectly smooth." He further ob- 
serves that he has not been able to verify Milde's state- 
ment "that in this species the apex of the fertile panicle 
is not only bent downward in the bud, but that the tip is 
again bent upward, being in fact sub-circinate, so that in 
his classification of the different kinds of vernation he 
places this species in a class by itself, which he calls ' ver- 
natio sub-circinata.'" He very justly says that, "if cor- 
rect, this would be a most important point, and would 


show a much closer relationship to the true order of Filices 
than is usually recognized in this genus." * 

This form of B. ternatum, Swartz, is the B. obliquum 
of Muhlenberg, which, in the earlier editions of Gray's 
Manual, was reduced to a variety of B. lunarioides, Swartz, 
but Milde's arrangement is now generally adopted in this 
country, and is undoubtedly most in accordance with 

The plate represents a plant of natural size. 

* Vernation in Botrychia, 1. c. p. 196. 





C^ '( 




COTRYCHIUM TERNATUM, var. dissectum, Milde. 


Plate LVIII. 
BOTRYCHIUM TERNATUM. Var. Dissectum. Milde. 

Finely - Dissected Moonwort. 

The general outline and appearance of this fern is simi- 
lar to the plant last described. The sterile frond is ternate, 
with lanceolate pinnae ; but instead of being crisp and wavy 
they are finely dissected, so as to form the most delicate 
lanceolate teeth. I have attempted to reproduce this dis- 
sected appearance of the frond in the etching, but the lines 
were so minute and delicate that the Plate conveys but an 
imperfect idea of its finely-cut foliage. 

As far as I have observed, this fern is rather rare in Ken- 
tucky. A beautiful specimen of this variety was sent to 
me by Mrs. J. F. Bullitt, who collected it on the banks of 
Beargrass Creek, about two miles from Louisville, where 
it was found with the Var. obliquum and the B. Virginia- 
num, both common in that locality. All the specimens 
of this variety which I have seen are strong-growing plants, 
with a well -developed fertile frond, bearing fruit in abun- 
dance. The stem is stout and fleshy. When it is care- 
fully dried and mounted it is a beautiful specimen for the 
herbarium, the finely-lacerated outline of the lobes showing 
to great advantage. 

The texture is not so coarse as in the Var. obliquum, 
being more membranaceous, but less thin and delicate than 
that of the Virginia IMoonwort. The vernation in this 
variety is similar to that of the Var. obliquum. 

As in the previous Plate, the plant is represented natural 
size, with the fertile segment removed. 



Plate LIX. 

Adder's Tongue. 

Gen. Char. — Sporangia sessile, naked, coherent in two ranks ; 
fronds with sterile and fertile segments, the former simple, ovate, 
oblong — the latter forming a simple spike ; veins reticulated. 

This is the typical genus of the sub -order Ophioglos- 
saceae. The distinctive characters of the genus are some- 
what Hke those of Botrychia. The sporangia, however, 
instead of being arranged in the form of a compound pan- 
icle, occupy a simple spike. These sporangia or spore- 
cases are sessile, and situated near the apex of a long cylin- 
drical stem, in two ranks. The spore -cases are opaque, 
discharging, when ripe, a number of minute spores from 
a transverse slit, forming two valves. 

According to Hofmeister, the young frond makes its 
appearance near the depressed, almost flat end of the stem, 
in the form of a slender conical knob, from the fore side 
of which a fleshy, flat, stipule -like excrescence, as in Ma- 
rattia, is produced. This cellular mass develops in breadth 
more vigorously than the part of the frond which is situa- 
ted above its place of attachment. It embraces about 
two fifths, and the frond about one third of the zone of 
the stem upon which they both stand.* The sporangia of 
Ophioglossum agree with those of all the Vascular Cryp- 
togams in the one point of belonging to the leaves, although 
the history of their development is not as yet accurately 
known (Sachs). Figure i of the Plate is from nature; fig- 
ures 2, 3, and 4 are from Hooker and Bauer. 

*See Hofmeister, 1. c. p. 312. 


Plate LIX. 

Common Adder's Tongue. 

This species of Ophioglossum is the only one I have 
been able to find in Kentucky, although Dr. Short, a very 
trustworthy botanist, states that he found the O. bulbosum, 
(Michx.) in this State, giving "low grounds" as its habitat.* 
The latter, however, has been reduced by Prof. Eaton to 
a variety of O. vulgatum, called Crotalophoroides from 
Walker's species. f I am inclined to believe, from my 
own observation, that all the Kentucky forms may be 
properly referred to O. vulgatum, which is an exceedingly 
variable species, the simple leaf of the sterile frond being 
sometimes oval, sometimes ovate-oblong, or even lanceo- 
late. The root-stocks, generally fibrous, are occasionally 
inclined to be bulbous, by which Dr. Short was probably 
misled in his determination of the species. For a full 
account of the development of the vegetative organs of 
the O. vulgatum, the reader is referred to Hofmeister. | 
The stem is never branched, and the comparatively thick- 
ened root-stock but rarely. Unlike most ferns, the veins 
are finely reticulated, not free or forked. This exceptional 
mode of the venation is common to all the Ophioglossaceae. 

Prof. Hussey says that he found this fern near Glasgow 
Junction, in Barren County, where it grew in abundance. 
The exact locality is within a few rods of the Lithographic 
Stone-Quarry, near the road leading from Glasgow Junction 

••■•See Riddell, 1. c. ]■>. 107, and Short, Cat. of the I'henog. PI., and 
Ferns of Kentucky, p. 10. 

t Chapman's Flora of Southern States, p. 599. 
I Ray Society, \. c. p. 312, et seq. 



Common Adders Toneue. 



to Mammoth Cave. He has observed that it sends up 
several fronds from the root-stock, "from near the base of 
that of the previous year, especially if the first fronds have 
been destroyed." He remarks, also, that the statement 
that it grows in "bogs and meadows" should be modified, 
as he has never found it in such situations, but in rich 
woods. The soil near Glasgow Junction, where it grew, 
was a rather dry, compact clay. It is by no means common 
in the State. Some good specimens of this plant were col- 
lected by Dr. Crosier, near the mouth of Wyandotte Cave, 
in Indiana, five miles from the Ohio River. 

The leaf becomes very much attenuated in drying, and, 
when decolorized, furnishes beautiful objects for the mi- 

Figure i, a plant, natural size; figure 2, a portion of a 
spike; figure 3, a sporangium; figure 4, a spore; figures 2, 
3, and 4, are magnified views (from Hooker and Bauer). 



[From Davenport's Monograph on the Vernation in Botrychia, 
IN ToRREY Botanical Bulletin, vol. vi, January, 1878.] 


Vernation wholly straight: 

I. B. simplex^ Hitchcock. Bud smooth. Apex of 
fertile and sterile frond erect. Figure 3. 
Vernation partly inclined, in one or both portions. 

1. B. Lmiaria, Swartz. Bud smooth. Apex only 
of sterile frond bent over and outside of the nearly 
straight fertile frond. Segments of sterile frond ar- 
ranged nearly perpendicularly. Figure 4. 

2. B. borcale, Milde. Bud smooth. Apex of sterile 
frond bent over inside of the nearly erect fertile frond. 
Sterile segments arranged on an angle. Figure 5. 

3. B. matricaricefolium, A. Br. Bud smooth. Apex 
of both fronds turned down. Sterile frond clasping the 
fertile, with its apex overlapping the whole. Figure 6. 

4. B. ternatum, Swartz. Bud pilose. Apex of both 
fronds bent down, with a slight curve inward. Fig- 
ures 8 and 9. 

Vernation wholly inclined, in the fertile frond re- 

1. B. lanccolatum, Angstrom. Bud smooth. Fer- 
tile frond recurved its whole length, the shorter sterile 
frond reclined upon it. Figure 7. 

2. B. Virginianmn, Swartz. Bud pilose. Fertile 
frond recurved its whole length with the longer sterile 
frond reclined upon it. Figure 10. 

■I- ; 

.5 Y ; 




The more important references are in heavy faced type; obsolete 
names in italic type. 

Addet's Tongue, 12, 25, 147. 
Adiantum, 28, 39, 45. 

Chilense, 39. 

Farleyense, 39. 

pedatum, 8, 39, 40. 
AUosorus, 28, 51. 
Antheridia, 19. 
Appendix, 151. 
Archegonia, 19. 
Aspidiese, 29, 79, 85. 
Aspidium, 29, 79, 85. 

acrostichoides, 99. 

cristatum, 93. 

Goldianum, 95. 

marginale, 85, 97. 

Noveboracense, 89. 

obtusum, 113. 

spinulosum, 91, 93. 

spinulosum, v. intermedium, 

Thelypteris, 87. 
Aspleniece, 28, 53. 
Asplenium, 28, 53. 

angustifolium, 69, 71. 

Bradleyi, 8, 57. 

ebeneum, 58, 63, 77. 

ebenoides, 53. 

Filix-foemina, 73. 

montanum, 57, 58, 65. 

Asplenium pinnatifidum, 55, 58, 
59, 61, 77. 

Ruta-muraria, 67. 

thelypteroides, 71. 

Trichomanes. 61, 63, 65. 
Athyrhim, 73. 

Barren County, 47, 123, 149. 
Bear Creek, 58. 
Beargrass Creek, 52, 113, 145. 
Beech Fern, 69, 81, 83. 
Bee Spring, 58. 
Bell County, 37. 
BigClifty, 59, 65, 91. 
Bladder Fern, 17, 101, 113. 
Boone County, 55. 
Botrychium, 139, 140, 151. 

boreale, 151. 

g>xicile, 141. 

lanceolatum, 151. 

Lunaria, 140, 151. 

btnarioides, 144. 

matricaricefolium, 151. 

obliquum, 144. 

simplex, 151. 

ternatum, 151. 

ternatum, v. dissectum, 145. 

ternatum, v. obliquum, 143, 




Bolrychium Virginianum, 140, 

141, 145, 151. 
Bracken, 13, 43. 
Bristle Fern, 123. 
Buds, 19. 

Bulbous Bladder Fern, 105. 
Bullitt County, 74, 91. 

Camptosorus, 28, 75. 
Camptosorus rhizophyllus, 77. 
Carter County, 55, 123, 
Cheilanthes, 28, 45. 

fragrans, 45. 

tomentosa, 49. 

vestita, 47, 50. 
Christmas Fern, 99. 
Cinnamon Fern, 137. 
Classification, 24. 
Clayton's Flowering Fern, 135. 
Cliff-brake Fern, 51, 52. 
Climbing Fern, 8, 129. 
Clothed Lip-fern, 47. 
Collecting and Drying, 21. 
Columella, 26. 
Common Adder's Tongue, 149. 

Bladder Fern, 103. 

Bracken, 43. 

Polypody, 35. 
Crab Orchard, 73. 
Crested Shield Fern, 93. 
Cryptogamia, 11. 
Cultivation, 15. 
Cumberland Gap, 37, 49. 
Cyatheaceae, 25. 
Cystopteris, 29, 101. 

bulbifera, loi, 105. 

fragilis, lOi, 103, 113. 

montana, loi. 
Davallieas, 29, 117. 

Diamond Cave, 48. 
Dicksonia, 117. 
Dicksonia punctilobula, 119. 
Double-staining, 83. 

Ebony Spleenwort, 63. 
Edmonson County, 37, 47, 55, 

58, 91, 93, 123, 119. 
Elba Woodsia, 115. 
Elk Lick, 37. 
Equisetum, 87. 
Estill County, 47, 55. 

Fertilization, 18. 
Finely-dissected Aloonwort, 145. 
Flowering Fern, 11, 133. 
Fossil Ferns, 10, 109, 127, 131. 
Fronds, 12, 74, 99. 
Fruit-dots, 18. 

Genera and Species, 33. 
Geographical Distribution, 9. 
Glasgow Junction, 149. 
Gleicheniacese, 25. 
Goldie's Shield Fern, 95. 
Grayson County, 37, 55, 59, 65, 

Green River, 58. 
Gymnogramme, 45. 

Hardin County, 37, 55 91. 
Hart's Tongue, 77. 
Hymenophyllacens, 25, 26, I2I, 

Hymenophyllum, 122. 

Introduction, 7. 

Jefferson County, 91. 



Kentucky River, 37, 67, 105. 
Key to the Genera, 30. 
Killarney Fern, 123. 

Lady Fern, 7, 17, 69, 73, 91, 

Laurel County, 8, 35, 55, 91, 93, 

95> 123, 125, 129. 
Leaf, 13, 14. 
Lincoln County, 73. 
Little Rockcastle River, 95. 
Liverworts, 124. 
Lygodium, 127. 
Lygodium Palmatum, 8, 129. 

Madison County, 35. 

Maiden -hair Fern, 8, 1 7, 39, 

40, 69. 
Maiden-hair Spleenwort, 61. 
Male Fern, 10. 
Mammoth Cave, 37, 61, 125, 

Marattiacece, 25. 
Marchantia, 124. 
Marion County, 37. 
Marginal Shield Fern, 97. 
Marsh Shield Fern, 87, 89. 
Meeting Creek, 59. 
Moonwort, 12, 25, 139. 
Mounds, 17. 

Mountain Spleenwort, 65. 
Mounting, 22. 

Narrow -leaved Spleenwort, 69, 


Nephi'oduun lanosunt, 49. 

riijidulujii, 115. 
New York Shield Fern, 89. 
Nolin Creek, 38, 58. 

Oak Fern, 109. 

Obtuse-leaved Woodsia, 113. 

Ohio River, 37, 52. 

Oldham County, 37, 67, 91, 105. 

Onoclea, 107. 

Onoclea sensibilis, 11, 109. 

Ophioglossaceje, 25, 27, 131, 

Ophioglossum, 147. 
Ophioglossum, bulbosiim, 149. 
vulgatum, 149. 
vulgatum, V. Crotalopho- 
roides, 149. 
Osmund, 133. 
Osmunda, 87, 131, 141. 
Claytoniana, 135. 
cinnamomea, 109, 135, 

interrupta, 135. 
regalis, II, 109, 133, 135. 
Osmundaceze, 25, 27. 

Pellsea, 28, 41, 51, 89. 
Pellaea atropurpurea, 52. 
Phegopteris, 29, 79. 
Phegopteris, hexagonoptera, 83. 

polypodioides, 81, 83. 
Pine Hill, 129. 

Pinnatifid Spleenwort, 55, 65. 
Polypodiacese, 25, 26, 28, 107. 
Polypodiece, 28, 79. 
Polypodium, lo, 13, 28, 33, 79, 


incanum, 37. 

obtusion, 113. 

Phegopteris, 81. 

vulgare, 35. 
Prothallus, 19, 20. 
Pteridete, 28, 41. 



Pteris, 28, 41, 51, 89. 
Pteris aquilina, 13, 14, 43. 

Red River, 73. 

Rockcastle County. 9, 35, 37, 55, 

89, 91. 97. 135. 137- 
Rockcastle River, 8, 124, 133. 
Springs, 93,123, 129, 130. 
Rock Springs, 37, 67, 105. 
Root-stock, 13, 81. 
Rough Creek, 37, 55. 
Royal Fern, 12, 133, 135. 

Scaly Polypody, 37. 
Schizaeacere, 25, 27, 127. 
Scolopendrium, 28, 77. 
Scolopendrium officinarum, iv. 
Selaginella convoluta, 38. 
Sensitive Fern, 11, 17, 109. 
Shield Fern, 85. 
Short Cave, 48. 
Sorus, 18. 
South Fork, 124. 
Spiny Shield Fern, 91. 
Spleenwort, 53. 
Sporangia, 18, 19, 20, 26, 121. 
Spores, 19. 
Structure, 11. 
Struthiopteris, 29. 

Sweet Lick Knob, 47. 
Sweet-scented Fern, 119. 
Summer Fern, 69. 

Ternate Moonwort 143. 
Tree Ferns, 9, 117. 
Trichomanes, 7, 29, 121, 130. 
Trichomanes radicans, 8, 58, 122. 

Unfolding of the Leaf, 12, 14, 71, 
121, 145, 147, 149, 151. 

Veins, 12. 

Vernation, 71, 121, 145, 151. 
Virginia Moonwort. 141, 143, 
145. 151- 

Walking-leaf Fern, 77. 
Wall-rue Fern, 67. 
Wardian Cases, 15. 
Wet Woods, 133. 137. 
What is a Fern ? 11. 
Winter Fern, 99. 
Woodwardia, 28. 
W^oodsia, 111. 
Woodsia Ilvensis, 113, 115. 

obtusa, 113. 
Woolly Lip Fern, 49. 



Text by Professor Daniel C. Eaton, of 
Yale College. 


pROF. EATON'S herbarium of Ferns is the largest in America, 
1 and he is constantly in receipt of additional plants from all parts 
of the country. He is therefore in a position to better conduct the 
work and furnish the necessary specimens for illustrations than any 
other person. Besides the labors of Prof. Eaton and Mr. Emerton, 
Dr. Gray, of Cambridge, has expressed an interest in the undertaking, 
and kindly offered the use of the extensive herbarium of the Botan- 
ical Gardens for consultation. The Massachusetts Horticultural Soci- 
ety has also freely offered the use of the Davenport herbarium of Ferns. 
The publishers will also have the assistance of Mr. J. Robinson, well 
known as a Fern specialist. Mr. George E. Davenport and Mr. Chas. 
E. Faxon, of Boston, Mrs. Cooper, of Santa Barbara, Cal., and others 
in various parts of the country, have kindly offered their assistance. 

The subscription price will be $i.oo per part, which, it is believed, 
is lower than any work of the same nature and quality yet published. 

Botanists, who desire to inspect the work before subscribing, will 
receive a sample plate and text by mail, upon application. 

For the benefit of any young botanists who do not feel able to pur- 
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